President Trump's Proposed Budget Changes Would Increase Greenhouse Gas Emissions by More than 5 Million Metric Tons CO2e
20 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2017
Date Written: May 17, 2017
The 2016 election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States promised to usher in sweeping changes to the federal government’s policy priorities, largely at the expense of environmental and social safety. Climate change mitigation efforts will likely slow as a result of renewed federal support and an enabling regulatory environment for the fossil fuel industry, as well as diminished international cooperation. Yet the scientific community has yet to explicitly assess the direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions impacts of the Trump Administration’s proposals to increase defense and homeland security spending by $90 billion and cut other non-defense spending by $63 billion over fiscal years 2017 and 2018. This paper uses environmentally extended input-output analysis to estimate how these budget changes would result in changes in emissions if implemented exactly as described in official documents from the executive branch of the U.S. government. Our results suggest an increase of more than 5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions over two years relative to a counterfactual scenario without the new budget proposals. We argue that our analysis grossly underestimates the complete, long-term climate impacts of the analyzed expenditure shifts because of several methodological limitations. Regardless, the federal government budget changes proposed by the Trump Administration represent a momentous stride in a dangerous direction with respect to the future functioning of the global climate system.
Keywords: Environmentally extended input-output; climate; policy analysis; national defense
JEL Classification: C67, Q57, Q54, Q58, E62, H61
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation