Obama to ask Congress for $1-billion climate change fund

A highway sign in Glendale warns motorists to save water in response to California's severe drought.
(Robyn Beck / AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON -- President Obama will ask Congress for $1 billion to create a “climate resilience fund” to pay for research, preparation and infrastructure aimed at dealing with the extreme weather and new conditions associated with shifts in the weather.

Obama will include the fund in his 2015 budget proposal, due out next month, and plans to discuss the idea during a visit to drought-stricken California on Friday, the White House said. Like much of his budget plan, though, the president’s request is likely to meet resistance among Republicans in Congress.

Still, the White House is eager to show that the president is continuing to push for new initiatives related to climate and attempting to implement the “Climate Action Plan” he unveiled last summer. The White House recently announced the creation of a series of “climate hubs” that will lead research and advise farmers and ranchers on how to manage changes in conditions that can impact their production.


White House spokesman Jay Carney said Friday that, while individual weather events such as snowstorms or droughts are not necessarily evidence of global climate changes, the science is clear that weather practically everywhere is being influenced by climate change.

The series of extreme weather events -- droughts, like the one in California, or hurricanes, like Sandy -- are reminders “of the steps that we need to take and that this president is committed to taking.”

The proposed climate resilience fund would support research into the consequences of climate change and how communities can prepare. It would support local efforts to reduce future risk and invest in the development of technologies that could protect communities against extreme weather and natural hazards.

Obama also plans to announce immediate federal assistance for Californians as he visits a Fresno farm struggling with the water shortage.

Twitter: @khennessey