US - Federal Policy

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Emissions Transparency: High Priority for the US in Durban, Lower Priority at Home?

Deferral granted by the Environmental Protection Agency risks the ability to verify emissions data from individual facilities.

Support Builds for Mechanism to Reduce Emissions and Raise Climate Finance from Shipping

Members of Congress call on the Obama Administration to support the Green Climate Fund and innovative financing from international transportation.

Video: Americans Feel Emerging Impacts of Climate Change, as U.S. Negotiators Show Lack of Urgency

Keya Chatterjee, Director of International Climate Policy for WWF-US, comments from the climate negotiations in Durban, South Africa, on the extraordinary year of climate extremes experienced this year in the U.S., on the negotiations and on what you can do to make a difference.

U.S. Lacks National Climate Change Preparedness Strategy, Lagging Behind Leading Developed and Industrialized Countries

WWF’s new brief on Planning Development in a Carbon Constrained World (Dec 2011) shows that leading national governments in both industrialized and developing countries are not only well ahead of the U.S. government in their initiatives to curb greenhouse gas emissions, but also have progressed much further in preparing for the impacts of climate change. 

IPCC Says Essential Actions Needed to Reduce Risks of Changing Climate Extremes

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) approved on Friday (18 Nov 2011) a report on preparing for weather and climate extremes. The report’s summary warns that a changing climate “can result in unprecedented extreme weather and climate events” and says that actions ranging “from incremental steps to transformational change are essential for reducing risk from climate extremes.” The U.S. this year has experienced a record fourteen weather-related disasters each in excess of a billion dollars – and many more disasters of lesser magnitudes. Yet the U.S. has no national climate change preparedness strategy; and Federal efforts to address the rising risks have been undermined through budget cuts and other means. Though seriously constrained by the lack of strong and unified leadership in Washington, communities and others around the country nevertheless are taking commonsense actions to address the emerging impacts of increasingly disruptive climate extremes.

Former EPA Administrator William K. Reilly: On Climate Change, Cities May "Save Us From the Ideological Gridlock in Washington"

William K. Reilly, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1989-1992) under President George H.W. Bush, on Tuesday (8 November 2011) said that cities in America and the rest of the world face "an urgent need for adaptation and renewal."  Speaking at the National Building Museum after receiving its Vincent Scully Prize, he said that "the degree to which those cities are planned for long-term sustainability in the face of now-certain climate change may affect their very survival."

White House Reports on Climate Change Adaptation, as Communities Face Rising Impacts Without National Strategy

The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on Friday (28 October 2011) released a second annual progress report from the government’s Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force.  Despite the significant progress summarized in "Federal Actions for a Climate Resilient Nation," the U.S. still has no national strategy for adapting to climate change, leaving America dangerously unprepared for climate conditions that are becoming more extreme and disruptive. With Washington (and the field of presidential candidates) largely AWOL in responding to climate change, the burden shifts to cities and towns across the country to face these growing extremes mostly on their own.  Fortunately, some communities and businesses around America  are beginning to prepare.  Unfortunately, those cities and businesses are the exception, not the rule.

As the Costs of Extreme Weather Rise, Americans Cannot Afford Denial

As costly climate extremes exact a mounting toll on the U.S. economy and further strain the Federal budget, the path forward is clear: acknowledge and better understand the growing threat posed by climate variability and change, do what we can to slow climate change by sharply reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improve our weather forecasts and climate projections, and prepare ourselves for future impacts. Yet ideologues are pushing an opposite agenda: deny climate change and systematically eviscerate the Federal government’s efforts to address it. They are leaving Americans dangerously unprepared, saddled with the rapidly mounting costs of increasingly extreme weather. 

House drying up funding for weather preparedness (Repost)

This is a repost of an op-ed piece published in the San Francisco Chronicle (11 Aug. 2011). As the price tag for extreme weather increases, the U.S. House of Representatives ignores the problem and is attempting to make it worse by trying to cut important funding for climate change and preparedness.

Dangerously Unprepared: Congressional Budget Cuts are Leaving Americans Vulnerable to Climate Extremes

In 2011, the U.S. has been hammered by climate extremes, with economic damages by mid-June approaching a record $32 billion. Yet determined Congressional opponents of Federal climate change efforts are doggedly impeding Federal activities to inform and engage the public around climate impacts, vulnerability and risks; and to prepare for those impacts. Such tactics have successfully stymied progress on climate policy for over a decade, but at a high cost that is becoming increasingly evident: they have left Americans dangerously unprepared for an era of climate disruption.

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