Extreme Weather Events: Limiting Federal Fiscal Exposure and Increasing the Nation's Resilience   [open pdf - 98KB]

"According to the United States Global Change Research Program, the costs and impacts of weather disasters resulting from floods, drought, and other events are expected to increase in significance as previously 'rare' events become more common and intense. These impacts pose financial risks to the federal government. While it is not possible to link any individual weather event to climate change, these events provide insight into the potential climate-related vulnerabilities the United States faces. GAO [Government Accountability Office] focuses particular attention on government operations it identifies as posing a 'high risk' to the American taxpayer and, in February 2013, added to its High Risk List the area 'Limiting the Federal Government's Fiscal Exposure by Better Managing Climate Change Risks'. GAO's past work identified a variety of fiscal exposures--responsibilities, programs, and activities that may either legally commit the federal government to future spending or create the expectation for future spending in response to extreme weather events. This testimony is based on reports GAO issued from March 2007 to November 2013 that address these issues."

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Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
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Listed on February 19, 2014 [Critical Releases]