Good afternoon! Here is today’s top ecoright climate news.

Climate’s pricey tab: The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report citing the billion of dollars the U.S. already spends due to climate change. The federal government has spent $350 billion in the last decade on disaster assistance programs, not including the three devastating hurricanes to hit the mainland in 2017, costs of which also are estimated in the $300 billion range. According to the study, the federal government has “not undertaken strategic government-wide planning to manage climate risks by using information on the potential economic effects of climate change to identify significant risks and craft appropriate federal responses.” Maine’s Sen. Susan Collins, a co-requestor of the report, called the economic impact figures “astonishing” and pointed out that the Maine economy “is inextricably linked to the environment. We are experiencing a real change in the sea life, which has serious implications for the livelihoods of many people across our state, including those who work in our iconic lobster industry.”

“Climate change is real”: Alaska’s Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, addressed the Alaskan Federation of Natives, where she said “confronting climate change and adapting to it will take leadership, it will take partnership and attention to social justice if we are to find the strength to tackle the issue together.” She pointed to the crisis posed by a changing climate as an opportunity for new energy solutions being tested in small Alaska communities with scalable potential. “The eyes of the world, my friends, are looking to us. They’re looking to Alaska for some of these solutions,” she said. “Climate change is real!”

Nicaragua says oui: Nicaragua officially joined the Paris Climate Agreement, leaving the U.S. and Syria as the only two nations on the sidelines.

That’s what we have for you today!