In 2018 alone, there were 14 separate billion-dollar weather and climate disasters in the United States, with a total cost of at least $91 billion. These costs will likely rise due to climate change.
Investing in climate resilience projects to help communities prepare for hazards such as sea level rise could reduce future costs. The federal government makes ad hoc investments but does not have a strategy for prioritizing projects with the most impact.
We recommended that Congress consider establishing a federal entity to identify and prioritize these projects.
The government’s fiscal exposure from climate change is a topic on our High Risk List.
Infrastructure projects, like this system of levees and other barriers in New Orleans, could reduce risk from coastal storms and flooding—events that could be exacerbated by climate change.