Congressman Matt Cartwright

Representing the 17th District of Pennsylvania
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GAO Report Highlights International Efforts to Combat the Effects of Climate Change

Jun 13, 2016
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) confirmed that, while the United States has made steps to address weather-related disasters, numerous lessons can be learned from other countries across the world which have passed laws and have taken concrete strides to mitigate the risk of climate change.

The GAO report, at the request of Congressman Cartwright (D-PA), underscores that enhancing resilience to climate change could create up-front costs but would save huge sums in the long term by reducing damages from future climate related-events.  It is estimated that for every $1 spent in mitigation, $4 are saved.  

In a comparison of laws and policies, the GAO found that the countries of Mexico, the United Kingdom, the Philippines, and the Netherlands, as well as the European Union have all developed “long-term government-wide climate change adaptation plans that established a framework for addressing climate risks.”

“Time and time again, the GAO has recognized the threat of extreme weather,” said Rep. Cartwright.  “In 2013 and 2015, climate change appeared on the GAO’s High Risks List, which highlight the most vulnerable and important fiscal risks faced by the federal government.  While various countries across the globe have embraced climate mitigation and resiliency strategies, the United States has remained slow to respond.  I have introduced the PREPARE Act, a bill to address federal preparedness for weather-related disasters. Congress should pass this bill and then take further steps to address the risks of climate change.”

Despite numerous pieces of legislation introduced by House and Senate Democrats, this release comes days after House Republicans, in their continued efforts to undermine climate change initiatives, voted to express the discontent with efforts to restrict emissions through a tax on carbon.

The GAO report can be found here.