Featured Content: Our Work
The Georgetown Climate Center recently launched the new and improved Adaptation Clearinghouse to help communities find the resources they need to prepare for climate change. The new system features an improved search interface, greater content curation, and new tools for partner organizations and websites.
The Center works with cities, states, and neighborhood leaders to develop policies that help communities prepare for climate change impacts, such as sea-level rise, flooding, drought, and urban heat. The Center also works to ensure that solutions are applied in a fair and equitable manner.
Tools and Data: Tools to Help Communities Prepare for Climate Change
With the planet warming and extreme weather becoming the new normal, states and communities are seeking out resources to help them anticipate climate impacts and protect residents, homes, businesses, and public infrastructure. Now is the time to begin taking steps to build stronger and safer communities and prepare for rising seas, heat, drought, wildfires, extreme weather, and other climate impacts on the way.
See below for tools developed in conjunction with the Georgetown Climate Center to asssist communities in preparing for climate change.
The Adaptation Clearinghouse is an online database and networking site that seeks to assist state policymakers, resource managers, academics, and others who are working to help communities adapt to climate change. The Clearinghouse contains more than 2,000 resources.
The Center regularly partners with organizations, such as the EPA, the Urban Sustainability Directors Netork, the American Society of Adaptation Professionals, and other organizations working on resilience and adaptation issues through the Clearinghouse.
Recognizing that vulnerability to climate change is social as much as it is physical, Georgetown Climate Center supports policy options that address social inequities and climate exposure together. The center is collecting resources that showcase and provide guidance on equitable adaptation in our Adaptation Clearinghouse and is partnering with U.S. cities to explore policy options, such as techniques to encourage more affordable resilient housing, targeting green infrastructure in low-income neighborhoods, and creating local hire programs to ensure resilience investments bring economic benefits.
The Georgetown Climate Center works with state and local governments to develop “heat-smart” communities that are well prepared to cope with rising temperatures — to both help them identify the adaptation choices available and navigate through the legal obstacles they may face in trying to implement different options. Learn more about the Center's law, policy, and on-the-ground work in this area.
Global sea levels could rise three to six feet over the next century. The Center is working with state and local governments to help them become “coast-smart” — that is, better prepared to cope with the threats posed by rising sea levels and higher storm surges. We convene dialogs between states, local governments, and federal agencies to ensure that lessons learned are shared widely to inform future policy actions.
Every year, taxpayers pay hundreds of billions of dollars for transportation and related infrastructure—infrastructure that is becoming increasingly vulnerable to flooding and damage from extreme heat as a result of climate change. The Georgetown Climate Center regularly works with communities, states, and the federal government to address climate change impacts in the transportation sector.
In order to ensure effective adaptation, communities need help identifying and implementing the most appropriate policies. The Georgetown Climate Center is working with a group of local partners to identify the best green infrastructure practices that cities are beginning to experiment with and to translate these lessons into a toolkit in order to share the best practices with communities across the country.
Opportunities for Equitable Adaptation in Cities
February 2, 2017
This workshop summary describes the conversations and discussions of participants during the first day of a two-day workshop in April 2016 that brought together nearly 50 thought leaders on equity and climate adaptation. The workshop focused on city-level actions that would support social justice goals and better prepare communities for the effects of climate change.
This memorandum seeks to help the State of Maryland document the important work it is already doing to prepare for the impacts of climate change and to provide recommendations for additional steps that the state could take, drawing on examples of practices from other states. In order to protect lives, health, property, economies, and natural systems, states need to adapt how they plan, regulate and make investments to incorporate projections of what future conditions will look like with a changing climate.
Lessons in Regional Resilience
January 19, 2017
The Georgetown Climate Center's report, Lessons in Regional Resilience, documents lessons learned from regional climate collaboratives. These collaboratives help communities overcome the limited resources and technical capacity that many cities face and enables them to share resources, leverage expertise, and develop coordinated plans and policy solutions to foster resilience and reduce carbon pollution.
This case study explores the ways that the San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative has worked to facilitate climate action planning across the region and recently has been directing a regional “Resilient Coastlines Project” with federal funding to connect and coordinate local sea-level-rise initiatives in the region. The SDRCC also has been recognized for its work; it received a Climate Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2015 for its innovative partnership model.
This case study explores how the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative has successfully brought attention to how climate change will to issues affect the capital region at local, regional, state and federal levels. The group works to bring stakeholders together to find regional solutions to the impacts of climate change.
This case study explores how the Sierra Nevada Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Partnership has worked to strengthen urban-rural partnerships to build support for investment in forest and watershed health. It also discusses how some of the collaborative’s members work to engage with state agencies on climate policy affecting Sierra communities and natural resources, by providing analysis and comment letters on proposed plans, policies, and legislation.
This case study explores the work that the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative is doing to develop regional framework to support coordinated decisionmaking, identify regional goals for adaptation and mitigation, and develop best practices and policies for achieving them, all informed by downscaled climate science for the region.
This case study explores how the efforts of the King County-Cities Climate Collaborative – which have primarily focused on cutting carbon pollution – have resulted in the adoption of shared countywide greenhouse gas reduction targets. It also explores how the collaborative has helped to produce policy recommendations that local governments in the region could adopt to meet emission reduction goals in specific areas, like electric vehicle usage and commercial energy benchmarking.
This case study explores how the Southeast Florida Climate Change Compact formally established its membership consisting of the four counties themselves, and the Compact counties work to create close partnerships with municipalities and other partners in the region. It also discusses some of the Compact’s key successes including developing a Regional Climate Action Plan, providing guidance and technical support to help municipalities implement the plan, and getting municipalities in the region to sign on to Compact through the “Mayors’ Climate Action Pledge” stating support for the Compact and its regional action plan.
The six winning Hurricane Sandy Design Competition projects were selected to demonstrate innovative approaches for rebuilding communities affected by Hurricane Sandy in ways that will enhance physical, social, economic, and environmental resilience. Two years into implementation, these projects are providing important lessons about how officials at all levels of government can design and construct infrastructure projects that deliver multiple community benefits.
The Georgetown Climate Center has launched an Adaptation Equity Portal within its Adaptation Clearinghouse to help communities develop policies that integrate social and environmental justice. The portal provides more than 200 resources that help identify ways to better protect the safety and livelihoods of those most affected by climate change.
Informing the Maryland Commission on Climate Change
January 31, 2017
The Georgetown Climate Center identifies issues that may be of interest to the Maryland Commission on Climate Change as it finalizes its November 2016 report on the status of Maryland’s climate change efforts and recommendations for legislative action, and develops its 2017 workplans.
A new Georgetown Climate Center report, Lessons in Regional Resilience, documents lessons learned from regional climate collaboratives, which are bringing together local governments and other stakeholders to coordinate climate change initiatives at a regional level. Watch leaders from regional collaboratives discuss what is working well and learn more about the Georgetown report.
New Report Highlights Adaptation Efforts in U.S. Communities
November 16, 2016
Communities across the nation are implementing innovative approaches to protect residents from the impacts of climate change, providing models and lessons that can be applied across the country according to a report released today by Abt Associates and The Kresge Foundation, which commissioned the report. The Georgetown Climate Center’s Vicki Arroyo and Jessica Grannis contributed to this report.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the Obama administration, in partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation, launched the innovative Rebuild by Design (RBD) competition, which sought to inspire affected communities to rebuild differently in ways that would enhance their physical, economic, social, and environmental resilience. This report, Rebuilding with Resilience, aims to capture and share lessons learned from the innovative process for developing the RBD proposals and the novel projects that were generated through this competition.
On October 31, 2016, the U.S. Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience released a report titled “Opportunities to Enhance the Nation’s Resilience to Climate Change,” which outlines opportunities for federal...
On August 2, 2016, the White House Council on Environmental Quality released final guidance on how federal agencies are to incorporate climate change considerations in their review of federal “actions” under the National Environmental Policy Act.
The Adaptation Clearinghouse was re-launched today with new tools to assist state policymakers, resource managers, academics, and others who are working to help communities adapt to climate change.
The Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) is seeking comment on a proposed rule that would, for the first time, ask states and localities to take natural hazards and climate change into account in their long-range plans for affordable housing and community development. Public comments on the proposed rule are due July 18, 2016.
Georgetown Climate Center Executive Director Vicki Arroyo wrote an op-ed published in The Huffington Post about New Orleans' revival after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city 10 years ago. New Orleans' recovery efforts, Arroyo explains, offer lessons for all communities that use federal disaster recovery dollars to rebuild, adapt, and thrive in the aftermath of climate-related disasters--and ideally, to prepare in advance of such events and avoid the most dire consequences.
Green Infrastructure Toolkit Launch
September 19, 2016
On September 14, the Georgetown Climate Center released an interactive toolkit that helps practitioners quickly find green infrastructure information, along with up-to-date, real-world examples. The Center also hosted...
Adaptation Clearinghouse 2.0 Launch Webinar
August 10, 2016
The Adaptation Clearinghouse was re-launched July 14 with a fresh makeover and new tools to assist state policymakers, resource managers, academics, and others who are working to help communities adapt to climate...
Vicki Arroyo delivered a TED-style talk at a March 31 event hosted by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to share perspectives on the science, risks, and opportunities for developing sustainable infrastructure as...
Leading national security experts recently engaged in a dialogue about national security threats posed by climate change at Georgetown Law. The March 20 event featured a keynote address by Alice Hill, senior director for...
Following the launch of the State Adaptation Progress Tracker, Jessica Grannis appeared on E&E TV to discuss the value of the new tool and the opportunity it represents to help states continue to make progress in...
In the lead up to the Obama Administration's rollout of its proposed rule to reduce carbon pollution from the power sector, Vicki Arroyo joins Angela Rae to discuss government action to help us prepare for and mitigate...
Vicki Arroyo joins Angela Rae with Soul of the South's DC Breakdown to discuss escalating climate change impacts in the United States and what we can do to be part of the solution.
Insights into the Making of Climate Policy
May 29, 2014
The Georgetown Climate Center recently hosted a conversation about state and federal climate policymaking with leading state officials and academic experts. This April 7 event was sponsored by the Center and the...
PopTech: The Need to Prepare for Climate Changes
November 7, 2012
Vicki Arroyo provides examples of local planning and progress taking place and underscores the urgent need for additional climate change preparations.
TED Talk: Let's Prepare for Our New Climate
November 7, 2012
In this recently released talk presented at TEDGlobal, Vicki Arroyo outlines the case for building resilience: providing examples of actions underway and explaining why the time is now to make changes in how we design...