Categorized | Climate Change

A Tale of Two Planets: The Funding and Defunding of Climate and Conservation Programs

In the planet that is the House of Representatives, there is no climate change.  So it is understandable then that in their Continuing Resolution to fund the government, they would defund any program that addresses climate change, including preventing the EPA from spending money regulating greenhouse gas emissions and slashing $48 million from Department of the Interior climate change adaptation programs (or if amended by a proposal by Rep. Steve Pearce of New Mexico, the Interior Department couldn’t spend a cent on climate change).

In the planet that is the White House, which seems to reflect the real planet earth, there is in fact climate change that is getting worse by the day.  Even with its legislative setback last year, the White House demonstrated on Valentine’s Day with the release of its annual budget that it is still committed to solving climate change and shifting our economy to cleaner energy sources.  For example, though Interior is cutting over $1 billion from its budget, the administration is proposing $175 million in “Cooperative Landscape Conservation”, or a $43.8 million increase over the fiscal year 2010 funding level.  The programs within Cooperative Landscape Conservation include all the elements in the Department’s previous Climate Adaptation Initiative including investments in science, planning, and on the ground restoration. Instead of making cuts across the board, the administration is actually prioritizing its spending, and making new investments in what is important to the challenges we face today.

Here is a breakdown of the House Continuing Resolution impact on climate change adaptation and other conservation programs.

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- who has written 16 posts on dotWild.

Noah Matson is Defenders’ Vice President Landscape Conservation and Climate Adaptation. Noah directs Defenders’ efforts to create and implement policies and strategies to safeguard wildlife and habitat from the impacts of climate change. Noah also oversees Defenders’ programs to improve the management of wildlife and habitat on federal public lands including national forests, national wildlife refuges, and the National System of Public Lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

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dotWild is the blog of scientists and policy experts at Defenders of Wildlife, a national, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities.