Mar 27, 2010

CBO Federal Climate Change Programs: Funding History and Policy Issues

CBO Federal Climate Change Programs

... Congresses and Administrations have committed several billion dollars annually to studying climate change and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, most notably carbon dioxide. Most of that spending is done by the Department of Energy (DOE) and by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, although a dozen other federal agencies also participate. The effort has included funding science and technology, creating tax preferences, and assisting other countries in their attempts to curtail greenhouse-gas emissions. In a study released this afternoon, CBO examines the government's commitment of resources to those purposes. The study presents information on current spending and analyzes recent patterns and trends in spending.

From 1998 through 2009, appropriations for agencies' work related to climate change totaled about $99 billion (in 2009 dollars); more than a third of that sum—$35.7 billion by CBO's estimation—was provided in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (see the figure below). During that period, the nation's commitment to climate-related technology development increased significantly, as has the forgone revenue attributable to tax preferences. Funding for climate science and international assistance, by contrast, stayed roughly constant.

Federal Climate Change Funding, by Category

(Budget authority in billions of 2009 dollars)
Read full at CBOFull Study