Climate Central: Trump Order Targets Local Efforts to Adapt to Warming

March 31, 2017

Climate Central interviewed Jessica Grannis, adaptation program manager of the the Georgetown Climate Center, about the effects on climate adaptation as a result of President Trump’s March 28 decision to halt federal efforts to slow climate change via an executive order on energy and climate. The order also directed agencies to retreat from efforts to help cities and counties adapt to the effects of warming temperatures.

The executive order rescinded directives issued by President Obama in 2013 and 2015, which sought to better protect Americans from floods, wildfires, heat waves and other disasters that are being amplified by greenhouse gas pollution.

“Adaptation plans that were developed under the Obama administration probably will not be updated — or carried out, for that matter,” said Grannis.

Trump’s climate order withdrew a 2016 requirement by Obama that federal departments consider climate change when analyzing the environmental impacts of projects, as required under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1970.

Grannis predicts a rise in lawsuits filed against federal agencies over the completeness of their environmental reviews if they don’t universally consider climate change. “This NEPA guidance was intended to forestall that litigation,” she said.

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