Climate Change Omitted from White House’s List of FY2019 R&D Priorities

On August 17, 2017, 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) 2019. The memorandum is intended to “highlight[] the Administration’s R&D priority areas for formulating FY 2019 Budget submissions” and indicates that “[t]hese priorities should receive special focus in agency budget requests.”

The memorandum identifies five “R&D Priority Areas” as follows:

  1. American military superiority;
  2. American security;
  3. American prosperity;
  4. American energy dominance; and
  5. American health.

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.