An independent review of the federal government’s actions on climate change might have inadvertently endangered President Obama’s last remaining executive action on global warming.
In 2017, five Democratic senators—including Sheldon Whitehouse, Dianne Feinstein, and Elizabeth Warren—asked the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a review of how federal agencies were addressing climate change as a “potential driver of global migration.” The nonpartisan “congressional watchdog,” studied executive and federal activities between 2014 and 2018.
GAO - Report - Thursday - Picture - Climate
The GAO report, which was released on Thursday, adds to the bleak picture of federal climate action under the current administration. It shows that while the Department of State, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Department of Defense began to look into the nexus of climate change and migration while Obama was in office, much of that work has been undone by President Trump and his appointees.
The fact that climate connections have languished in several federal agencies over the past two years is not that surprising—President Trump has systematically dismantled much of Obama’s climate legacy. But the report itself is having some unexpected consequences in certain parts of the federal government.
Result - Inquiry - Actions - Climate - Change
As a result of its inquiry into federal actions on climate change and migration, the GAO issued a recommendation to the US State Department: it should provide its missions with guidance on how to assess risks posed by climate change. That’s something the department started to do after Obama issued an executive order on Climate-Resilient International Development in 2014. In response, according to the GAO, the State Department agreed...
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