WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- Shaun Donovan became the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget in July, and he used his first speech since getting his new job to talk about the financial dangers of climate change on Friday.
"From where I sit, climate action is a must do; climate inaction is a can't do; and climate denial scores – and I don't mean scoring points on the board. I mean that it scores in the budget. Climate denial will cost us billions of dollars," Donovan said at the Center for American Progress, according to the Washington Post.
Donovan highlighted the cost of wildfires, which have become much more frequent and now cost the country $3 billion a year. He says the annual cost of extreme weather conditions related to climate change will raise the cost of aid by $7 billion within 15 years. He also noted that ongoing drought in the Southwest and beyond has accrued a price tag of over $30 billion. Donovan worries that if the U.S. does not invest in tackling climate change as much as possible, the future costs of damages will be much greater than the cost of preventing it now. The U.N. will be convening on Tuesday to discuss the solutions to climate change issues.