Featured Content: Our Work
Housing insecurity and the impacts of climate change are interrelated issues increasingly affecting cities across the United States. Community land trusts (CLTs) can present useful partnerships to simultaneously tackle these challenges by promoting community ownership and decision-making, and providing permanently affordable and resilient housing. To help state and community leaders support community land trusts and work to enhance climate resilience, the Georgetown Climate Center has released Community Land = Community Resilience: How Community Land Trusts Can Support Urban Affordable Housing and Climate Initiatives.
The Georgetown Climate Center has developed several legal and policy toolkits to assist states and communities working to build resilience to the impacts of climate change. Created by GCC staff in collaboration with leading federal, state, and local policymakers, affected community members, Georgetown Law faculty and students, and other experts, each toolkit includes practical legal and policy tools, best and emerging practices, and case studies from across the U.S.
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 was developed 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 ideas for additional steps that the state could take to enhance state efforts to prepare for the impacts of climate change. The report draws on best practice examples that other states have adopted to address climate impacts, including: establishing interagency committees, requiring consideration of climate impacts in state planning and investment decisions, developing tools and science to support decisionmaking, and supporting local action on climate change. 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.
State, local, and federal representatives came together with the Georgetown Climate Center, Georgetown faculty, and other experts for a two-day workshop on managed retreat, hosted by GCC on March 28-29, 2019. Managed retreat — or relocating communities away from vulnerable coastal areas — is one strategy that state and local governments are considering to address the impacts of sea-level rise on coastal communities, residents, and ecosystems.
The Georgetown Climate Center and the American Society of Adaptation Planners (ASAP) are pleased to announce the launch of new web-based features that link two of the leading online resource providers for climate adaptation professionals: the ASAP member website and GCC's Adaptation Clearinghouse.
View GCC Executive Director Vicki Arroyo's full testimony to the full House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure for a hearing entitled "Examining How Federal Infrastructure Policy Could Help Mitigate and Adapt to Climate Change."
Georgetown Climate Center heads to Katowice, Poland for COP24
November 28, 2018
The Georgetown Climate Center will be taking part in the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP24), starting next week in Katowice, Poland. This year's
COP, running from December 3 through 14, represents a pivotal point in the follow-up to the 2015 Paris Agreement, with negotiators working to finalize the "Rulebook" that will govern how countries account for and report their emissions of climate-changing pollution.
Georgetown Climate Center Awarded 2018 Climate and Energy Leadership Award for convening Ward 7 Equity Advisory Group
On Saturday, Sept. 8, the Far Northeast Ward 7 Equity Advisory Group (EAG) gathered with community members to present recommendations for implementing DC's Climate Ready and Clean Energy Plans. Ward 7 includes neighborhoods in the District facing significant risks from climate change impacts.
State and Local Climate Leadership in the Trumpocene
October 18, 2017
In a special issue of the Carbon & Climate Law Review, Vicki Arroyo identifies steps that states and cities are taking that demonstrate their climate leadership in the face of the Trump Administration's assault on climate change policy.
The Georgetown Climate Center's Jessica Grannis provided testimony to Congress this week, encouraging policymakers to help communities proactively prepare for climate changes and rebuild smarter with future climate change impacts in mind. She testified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Sept. 13, 2017.
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.
The Harrison Institute's clinical program and Professor Vicki Arroyo's experiential law course offer Georgetown Law students opportunities to work with communities on cutting-edge legal and policy questions regarding...
A panel discussion from the 2011 State-Federal Workshop on Climate and Energy Policy, hosted by the Georgetown Climate Center and the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. Moderator: Vicki Arroyo, Georgetown Climate...