Tags: climate | change | fund | budget

Obama Pushes $1 Billion 'Climate Resilience Fund'

Friday, 14 Feb 2014 01:49 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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President Barack Obama will push a $1 billion "Climate Resilience Fund" he is seeking as part of his upcoming budget, along with other administrative actions in a speech in Fresno, Calif., while continuing to make the case that climate change is hurting Americans.

The president's trip to Fresno on Friday was planned for him to discuss the drought conditions that continue to plague most of California and the western United States, reports Politico.

Money from the fund would go toward research on the impact of climate change, reports the White House, while bankrolling "breakthrough technologies and resilient infrastructure."

“The idea of a climate resilience fund is something that should be and we expect will be supported across all parts of the country … the need to be prepared, the need to take steps that help our farmers and businesses and communities deal with the consequences from severe weather events is evident to everyone across the country,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said Friday, The Washington Times reports.

But the climate fund is not likely to attract backing from Republicans, so the president is facing a fight.

The president "is going to continue to make the case that climate change is already hurting Americans around the country," said White House spokesman Matt Lehrich. "It will only get worse for our children and grandchildren if we leave it for future generations to deal with."

But no single extreme weather event has yet been attributed directly to climate change, and Obama plans to stress the scientific explanations about how climate change worsens events like droughts, said John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Holdren said global climate change affects the amount of rainfall from heavy downpours, with less water being absorbed into the earth. In addition, there is more rain and less snow in the mountains he said, meaning there is less melting snow to feed rivers.

“There are other, more subtle, ways climate change may be affecting the prevalence of drought; scientists are still arguing about those,” Holdren said. “The three I just described are more than enough to understand why we are seeing droughts in drought-prone regions becoming more frequent, more severe and longer.”

Obama's plans also include directing millions of dollars into conservation programs, watershed protection, and food banks, in addition to cutting back on water use at federal facilities.

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