In response to the White House Council on Environmental Quality release of the Adaptation Task Force Report today Heather Coleman, Senior Climate Change Policy Advisor for Oxfam America made the following statement:
“The Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force’s recommendation to support communities in the US and developing countries who are vulnerable to climate change is an essential step to further the administration’s commitment to build climate change resilience and prevent short and long term catastrophe. It’s critical that existing US government programs at home and abroad help protect the communities and people on the front lines of climate change.
“Climate change has been called a major threat to global security by military experts who warn that as increased droughts, floods, storms and disease grow worse, poverty and hunger, water scarcity, mass migration, and armed conflicts over resources are likely to present major challenges to American security interests. Already small farmers who grow our food from Iowa to Mozambique are being pushed to the brink of subsistence as climate change impacts have made land, water and other resources increasingly scarce.
“If we’ve learned anything from the horrific images of this summer’s extreme weather, it’s that we need to prepare for the consequences of climate change now or pay the expensive and punishing price later. Failing to prioritize climate adaptation would be costly to American taxpayers and drive millions more poor people abroad into extreme hunger and desperation.”