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.
This article examines two adaptation approaches that could be applied in Connecticut: a local-?level approach using zoning and floodplain regulations, and state-?level approach modeled after cutting-?edge sea level rise regulations adopted by neighboring Rhode Island. For each method, the authors examine what measures can be implemented now given existing legal authorities delegated to state agencies and municipalities; what measures will require additional delegations or amendments to existing statutes or regulations; and what level of government is best suited to implement different measures (state or local).
The Georgetown Climate Center's Jessica Grannis recently released a summary and analysis of Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, which includes several reforms that could assist state and local governments looking to implement policies to adapt to sea-level rise and other flood impacts from climate changes.
This brief reviews three approaches that communities are pursuing to adapt to climate change.
Adaptation Tool Kit: Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Land Use
November 1, 2011
The Adaptation 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.
Adaptation Case Studies in the Western United States
October 31, 2011
This report contains two case studies from the Western United States that explore water shortages in the West, water rights along the Colorado River, and the protection of an endangered ground-dwelling bird: the greater sage grouse. In doing so, the report also examines the role of states in adaptation planning and the intersection between state and federal authority.
This case study analyzes the authority of Virginia local governments to use existing land use regulations to adapt to sea level rise impacts. Specifically, this study looks at local authority to implement policy options identified in the Virginia’s Climate Action Plan.
This document provides a side-by-side comparison of all adaptation provisions in Kerry Boxer (S.1733) and Waxman-Markey (H.R.2454).
Climate Change and Public Health
November 1, 2009
In this presentation, Sara Hoverter with the Harrison Institute for Public Law outlines the public health impacts of climate change and what states and localities are doing to prepare and implement adaptation plans.
Coastal Adaptation in the U.S.
November 1, 2009
In this presentation, Executive Director Vicki Arroyo outlines emerging state and federal adaptation proposals.
Comparisons of adaption provisions in the committee-passed and House-passed versions of Waxman-Markey (H.R.2454).
National Climate Assessment Report Released
January 14, 2013
On January 11, 2013, the National Climate Assessment Draft Advisory Committee (NCADAC) released a draft of the third National Climate Assessment Report. The report reinforces previous assessments that our...
On Dec. 28, 2012, Governor Martin O’Malley signed the "Climate Change and Coast Smart Construction Executive Order" to increase Maryland’s long term resiliency to flooding and sea-level...
The Georgetown Climate Center recently hosted an important webinar about how communities can become more resilient to extreme weather and prepare for climate change through floodplain regulations. The Dec. 6 webinar...
Sea-Level Rise and Property Rights
December 2, 2012
Peter Byrne, faculty director of the Georgetown Climate Center, dives into some of the land use, takings, and regulatory challenges facing local governments in the wake of rising sea levels in a new law review...
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, attention is rightly focused on helping the families affected by the storm and repairing the damage it caused. The storm is one of the largest and most damaging to ever hit the...
On the heels of the hottest month in U.S. history, the Georgetown Climate Center has released a new tool to help cities and counties better prepare for the public health and infrastructure challenges caused by rising...
Updated: August 14, 2012 The Georgetown Climate Center's Jessica Grannis today released a summary and analysis of Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, which includes several reforms that could assist...
This brief reviews three approaches that communities are pursuing to adapt to climate change: 1) New Mexico's Active Water Resource Management program, which put rules into place that allow for temporary water use...
Hawaii Puts Climate Center's Sea-Level Rise Toolkit to Good Use
February 23, 2012
In January, Hawaii State Representative Cynthia Thielen introduced a bill to the state legislature proposing that state and county planning and permitting departments begin preparing for a 1-foot-by-2050 sea-level...
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...