‘Climate change’ removed from FEMA’s strategic plan

"Scientific evidence indicates that the climate is changing and significant economic, social, and environmental consequences can be expected as a result."

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SOURCEEcoWatch
Image Credit: Axios

Last year, one of the hottest years in modern history, was also the costliest year ever for weather disasters, setting the U.S. back a record-setting $306 billion in spending aid and relief cost.

But it appears the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the agency that responds to hurricanes, flooding and wildfires, is ignoring a critical factor that exacerbates these natural disasters: climate change.

On Thursday, FEMA released its Strategic Plan for the next four years, which replaces the Obama-era version that made repeat mentions of climate change.

The new document does not mention the terms “climate change,” “sea level rise” or even “extreme weather.” The only phrasing that comes close is “rising natural hazard risk” and “pre-disaster mitigation,” without mentioning what drives those risks.

The plan states: “Disaster costs are expected to continue to increase due to rising natural hazard risk, decaying critical infrastructure, and economic pressures that limit investments in risk resilience. As good stewards of taxpayer dollars, FEMA must ensure that our programs are fiscally sound. Additionally, we will consider new pathways to long-term disaster risk reduction, including increased investments in pre-disaster mitigation.”

In comparison, the 2014-2018 Strategic Plan from President Barack Obama’s FEMA highlighted the necessity to adapt to future climate-influenced risks:

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