The White House is arguing that fighting the threat of climate change will reduce federal spending and, in turn, reduce the federal deficit, according to a report issued Monday.
The report by the Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience details the administration's accomplishments in the last eight years to make communities more resilient to increased flooding, wildfires and drought that can result from the effects of global warming.
Many scientists blame the burning of fossil fuels for increasing the global temperature, resulting in more severe weather.
Buried in the report is what appears to be an appeal to conservative sensibilities on the issue of climate change, showing how maintaining the administration's last eight years of climate action can help reduce federal spending.
"Climate variability and change impact key economic sectors and the livelihoods of citizens," the White House said in a fact sheet accompanying the report. "In the last decade, the federal government incurred direct costs of over $357 billion due to extreme weather and wildfires, and the financial risks of climate change will continue to grow significantly in the coming decades.
"Instead of waiting to respond, the federal government is committed to working with communities to anticipate and reduce the future damages of climate change," which in turn will help reduce costs, according to the report.
The "Resilience Opportunities" report outlines three major areas where policymakers should focus to help communities anticipate and reduce damages: "innovation, economic growth and collaboration."
That would mean supporting the development and application of science-based data and tools to help communities become more resilient to the effects of climate change, while integrating "climate resilience into federal agency missions, operations, and culture," according to the White House.
The climate report also recommends ways to restructure financing tools to support green infrastructure programs at the state and local level.
The report's bottom-line message is for policymakers to support the federal government's advancements on climate change made over the last eight years.
"Climate change impacts will continue to manifest for a long time to come, and we have more work to do to ensure that we prepare, we adapt, and we respond and recover quickly," the report concludes. "Federal leadership remains important to understand climate change, to improve the resilience of its missions, operations, and programs that serve communities, and to support community efforts to enhance resilience."