Climate Change: Oversight of Federal Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Efforts – Government Accountability Office

by | Sep 29, 2022 | Climate Change

Each year, the federal government reports spending billions of dollars for federal climate change efforts. Many of these activities focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide. The budget reconciliation act, commonly known as the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, provided additional billions of dollars in funding and tax credits for greenhouse gas emissions reduction efforts, among other provisions, but full implementation of these efforts will take time.

The Big Picture

Greenhouse gas emissions reduction efforts can help limit the magnitude of climate change. These include investments in carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies and energy efficiency. The impacts and costs of natural disasters are projected to increase as climate change makes certain extreme weather events more frequent and intense, according to the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) and the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (National Academies). Limiting climate change depends on both international cooperation and oversight of domestic efforts.

Road flooding can result from extreme weather

The observed and potential impacts of climate change call attention to areas where government-wide improvement is needed to reduce fiscal exposure, including the federal government’s role as the provider of disaster aid. GAO added Limiting the Federal Government’s Fiscal Exposure by Better Managing Climate Change Risks to the High Risk List in 2013. The High Risk List identifies government operations that, among other things, need transformation to address effectiveness challenges.

What GAO’s Work Shows

GAO’s oversight of federal efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions focuses on technology, energy consumption and efficiency, and domestic and international policies. GAO has made several rel …

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