September 4, 2014
The Georgetown Climate Center released 100 recommendations today to improve federal programs that could be used to prepare for climate change. The new report will inform the White House State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience.
|Download Preparing Our Communities for Climate Impacts: Recommendations for Federal Action|
The report, Preparing Our Communities for Climate Impacts: Recommendations for Federal Action, draws from a series of workshops with leading federal, state and local officials and builds upon lessons learned post-disaster in New Orleans (following Hurricane Katrina), New York (following Hurricane Sandy) and Vermont (after Hurricane Irene). The report identifies more than 30 federal programs, initiatives and laws that can be used to prepare for extreme events such as storms, floods and heat waves as well as rising seas.
The report recognizes that recent extreme weather events and the mounting economic losses from such events have shown how vulnerable many states and communities are to climate change. Although state and local governments will be the primary actors when it comes to preparing for climate change impacts, the federal government can boost – or impede – preparedness.
The federal government sends billions of dollars to states and communities every year, some of which could be used more effectively to adapt to climate change. Federal laws and regulations also can be important drivers of state and local action. But, in some cases, federal rules have hindered state and local innovation. The recommendations in the report explore how existing federal dollars, programs, regulations and policies can be retooled, repurposed and deployed to promote and remove barriers to adaptation.
Among the report’s recommendations:
The recommendations are based on extensive work in communities affected by sea-level rise, storms, and heat waves. These recommendations were further developed over the course of three workshops convened by the Georgetown Climate Center in late 2013 and early 2014. Participants included senior federal, state and local officials, along with experts from the non-governmental and academic communities. The workshops were held in coordination with the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and relevant federal agencies. The workshops focused on several different aspects of adapting to climate change: using disaster relief funding, using living shorelines and nature-based strategies to prepare for sea-level rise and building the resilience of water infrastructure including sewers and wastewater treatment facilities.
This report and the related workshops received generous support from the Kresge Foundation.