About GCC's Adaptation Programs

The Adaptation Program at the Georgetown Climate Center (GCC) is one of the nation’s leading sources of practical strategies for preparing and responding to the impacts of climate change. Our team helps states and communities by providing legal and policy support to inform the development of adaptation strategies, while also sharing resources, lessons, and best practices widely to inform the broader field of adaptation planning and practice. 

Climate change is one of the defining challenges of our time: it is a “threat multiplier” that makes other problems harder to tackle, and affects nearly every sector, community, and aspect of society. Policymakers at all levels of government, as well as their partners and stakeholders, need access to resources, assistance, and best practices to help them prepare for a challenge of such scope and to prioritize their most affected communities.

Since 2009, the GCC Adaptation Team has provided direct support to states and communities and informed development of best practices among federal, state, and local policymakers in five key areas. 

  • Place-based work: We work directly with states and communities – including with policymakers, interdisciplinary agency staff, and local community-based organizations – to provide legal and policy analysis as they develop and implement their adaptation plans and strategies. Those experiences in turn help us tailor the content of our toolkits and other online tools and resources, and also inform our engagement with federal, state, and local governments, and other experts and stakeholders.

  • Online tools and resources: To make practical tools available to states and communities on the front lines, GCC prepares and publishes toolkits on adaptation planning and implementation, and provides information on adaptation efforts at all levels of government through our State Adaptation Progress Tracker and our Adaptation Clearinghouse database. Together these tools give policymakers and advocates instant access to thousands of laws, reports, case studies, policy examples, and other resources relating to climate change impacts and adaptation. 

  • Convening and peer-learning: GCC convenes practitioners from across the country both in-person and virtually to share their experiences and learn from each other. These opportunities help states and communities learn from their peers working on similar issues, and help practitioners at all levels of government build new partnerships and collaborate more effectively. 

  • Informing federal policy: We provide analysis and recommendations on ways that the federal government can improve upon existing programs to build capacity of states and communities, bringing lessons from partners on the ground.

  • Preparing future adaptation leaders: We also provide opportunities for students across Georgetown campuses to get real-world experience learning about and informing the development of climate adaptation policy through legal and policy research and writing, and engagement with “client” jurisdictions. 

If you have questions about our work or partnering with us, please email climate@georgetown.edu