OMB: Factor climate change in budget requests

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The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the first time is asking agencies to submit budget plans next year that consider the effects of climate change on the construction and maintenance of federal facilities.

The OMB issues a revised playbook for budgeting each year and is now including this explicit requirement.

“Specifically, OMB is asking all Federal agencies to consider climate preparedness and resiliency objectives as part of their Fiscal Year 2017 budget requests for construction and maintenance of Federal facilities,” Ali Zaidi, associate director for natural resources, energy and science at the OMB, wrote in a blog post.

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“Why? Because making our Federal facility investments climate-smart reduces our fiscal exposure to the impacts of climate change,” Zaidi added.

The Defense Department, for example, manages more than 560,000 facilities around the world, the blog post said, and they can be prone to extreme weather like hurricanes, wildfires, floods and droughts.

“Just last week, the National Park Service identified more than $40 billion in national park infrastructure and historic and cultural resources put at risk by sea level rise,” OMB said.

This requirement would apply to the fiscal 2017 budget request, which President Obama would submit to Congress next winter.