Resources for Adaptation Action
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 materials developed in conjunction with the Georgetown Climate Center to raise awareness and help communities with their planning and educational outreach.
Featured Georgetown Adaptation Resources
TED Talk: Georgetown Climate Center's Vicki Arroyo Calls for Adaptation Action
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 and plan our communities with climate change in mind. Arroyo also participated in an online chat to further engage in the conversation started by this widely viewed talk.
Click here to visit the Adaptation Clearinghouse - a resource database and online community that seeks to assist state policymakers, resource managers, academics, and others who are working to help communities adapt to climate change.
The Clearinghouse was developed by the Georgetown Climate Center through the generous support of the Rockefeller Foundation and other funders who make our work possible.
Sign up for a free account today to gain access to more than 1,000 adaptation resources and a network of practitioners helping states, communities, and others prepare for climate change impacts.
Adaptation Tool Kits for Planners and Policymakers
This tool kit is designed to help local governments reduce the effects of increased heat on their communities and citizens. It provides an analytic tool for policy makers to consider a combination of four built-environment changes (cool roofs, green roofs, cool pavements, and urban forestry), providing clear criteria for selecting among these approaches. It also examines the roles government can play in pursuing these changes: shaping government’s own operations, mandating or providing incentives for private choices, and engaging in public education.
Each of the four main chapters provides decision-making criteria and examples of mandates, incentives, public education programs, and government operations for each strategy. Each chapter also concludes with a set of “no-regrets” policies that local officials may undertake that provide multiple benefits, including public health, air quality, and energy efficiency, in addition to reducing urban heat impacts.
This tool kit explores 18 different land-use tools that can be used to preemptively respond to the threats posed by sea-level rise to both public and private coastal development and infrastructure, and strives to assist governments in determining which tools to employ to meet their unique socio-economic and political contexts.
To this end, the tool kit also provide policymakers with a framework for decision making. Each tool is analyzed by (1) the type of power exercised to implement it (planning, regulatory, spending, or tax and market-based tools); (2) the policy objective that it facilitates (protection, accommodation, planned retreat, or preservation); and (3) the type of existing or potential land uses that the tool can be used to adapt (critical infrastructure, existing development, developable lands, and non-developable lands).
Adaptation Case Studies and Literature
This book, recently published by the American Bar Association, features the work of several Georgetown Climate Center authors, including executive director Vicki Arroyo, faculty director Peter Byrne, staff attorney Jessica Grannis, and consultant Terri Cruce.
The Law of Adaptation to Climate Change examines the current and proposed legal aspects of coping with climate change--from drought, extreme precipitation, heat waves, and wild fires to global shifts in temperature, sea level, water and food supply, coastal conditions, infrastructure, ecosystems, and human health and economies.
This brief reviews three approaches that communities are pursuing to adapt to climate change:
- New Mexico's Active Water Resource Management program, which put rules into place that allow for temporary water use changes in real time in case of drought.
- The Water Utility Climate Alliance (WUCA), which was founded by water managers concerned by a gap in climate assessment and adaptation science needed to support their decisions.
- Colorado's Joint Front Range Climate Change Vulnerability Study, which brings together the state and water utilities to assess climate change's impact on local water availability.