Climate Change Omitted from List of White House R&D Priorities

Date: July 31st, 2018

Agency: Federal, White House

Explanation: Budget Cuts, Government Censorship, Research Hindrance

Scientist: Climate

On July 31, 2018, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) jointly issued a memorandum outlining the Trump Administration’s research and development (R&D) “priorities” for fiscal year (FY) 2020. The memorandum is intended to “provide[] guidance to [federal] agencies as they formulate their FY2020 budget submissions.”

The memorandum indicates that federal R&D funding should be “focused primarily on basic and early-stage applied research.” It identifies eight “R&D Priority Areas” as follows:

  1. security of the American people;
  2. American leadership in artificial intelligence, quantum information sciences, and strategic computing;
  3. American connectivity and autonomy;
  4. American manufacturing;
  5. American space exploration and commercialization;
  6. American energy dominance;
  7. American medical innovation; and
  8. American agriculture.

Notably absent from the memorandum is any discussion of climate change. This is a marked departure from previous versions, issued during the Obama Administration, which identified “global climate change” as a key R&D priority. Climate change was not, however, discussed in the Trump Administration’s budget priorities memorandum for FY2019.