PDF _ RL33817 - Climate Change: Federal Funding and Tax Incentives
2-Aug-2007; Jane A. Leggett; 30 p.

Update: August 2, 2007

Abstract: As the prospect of climate change induced by greenhouse gases has gained increased attention, U.S. federal funding to address this issue has expanded from a few million dollars per year in the 1970s to $5.44 billion in FY2007. The rise in funding is primarily attributed to the evolution of the federal effort — from scientific research in the early years to later inclusion of technology development, voluntary and regulatory programs, and international assistance. However, the accounting of activities related to climate change also has changed somewhat over the years, introducing some uncertainty in the degree to which funding has actually increased over time.

The President’s FY2008 budget request includes $5.95 billion for federal programs and activities identified as addressing climate change, a 9.4% increase above FY2007. In addition to this funding, certain tax incentives may encourage reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Tax incentives are not spending per se, but they do result in less revenue than would be accrued otherwise, and as such, are costs to the federal government referred to as “tax expenditures.” The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) estimates climate change tax expenditures would total $1.42 billion in FY2008, an 18% decrease below expenditures of $1.73 billion in FY2007.

The President’s strategy on climate change is directed by the Cabinet-level Committee on Climate Change Science and Technology Integration. This strategy places management responsibility and accountability for the various programs in individual agencies. The executive branch reports funding for specific programs administered by these agencies according to three consolidated areas: Climate Change Science Program (CCSP), Climate Change Technology Program (CCTP), and International Assistance.

Although more than a dozen federal agencies administer the programs and activities within these areas, most of the funding is allocated among a few agencies. The President’s FY2008 budget would allocate almost 60% of the total $5.95 billion climate change request to the Department of Energy (DOE). The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) would receive about 20% of the requested funding, whereas the Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, and National Science Foundation (NSF) would each receive 4% to 5% of the total request. The remaining agencies would receive smaller portions, ranging from 2% to less than 1% each.

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Topics: Climate Change, Government, Federal Agencies

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