Florida’s Energy & Climate Change Action Plan

Florida's Energy and Climate Change Action Plan is the framework that will secure Florida's energy future, reduce greenhouse gas emissions,and support emerging "green tech sector." The Plan addresses seven main strategies including inventory and projections of Florida's greenhouse gas emissions,energy supply and demand,cap and trade,transportation and land use, agriculture, forestry, and waste management, government policy and coordination, and adaptation strategies.

Chicago Climate Action Plan

After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, Chicago reinvented itself as a thriving hub that anchored the nation's commerce. In 1909, the Burnham Plan envisioned a "City Beautiful" - and called on all residents to act in the public's best interest to create it. Chicagoans have always faced obstacles with determination and imagination, and emerged all the stronger.

More than 15 years ago, Mayor Richard M. Daley began to transform Chicago into the most environmentally friendly city in the nation. Today, Chicago is one of the world's greenest and most livable cities, thanks to strong partnerships between government, residents and businesses. We lead the way from green roofs to green buildings and policies. We've become the nation's laboratory for studying ways to reduce the "urban heat island" effect, which can raise a city's temperature 4 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit on hot summer days. Our extensive public transit system offers a low-cost, energy-efficient alternative to solo driving. Our Bicycling program has produced more bike parking than any other U.S. city and 165 miles of bikeways. Our green homes and other programs help families save thousands of dollars through energy efficiency.

The past 15 years have also seen a tremendous growth in our understanding of climate change and the important role that cities can play in addressing it. This worldwide threat to our planet demands an encompassing plan from every city, state and nation and action from every resident and business to reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases and to ensure a good quality of life for future generations.

It was with that charge in mind that Mayor Daley created a multi-stakeholder task force to produce a Chicago Climate Action Plan (CCAP).

The Task Force created a Plan that:

  • Determines the challenges we face as our climate changes
  • Describes the sources of our greenhouse gas emissions
  • Sets goals to reduce our emissions and adopt to changes already affecting us
  • Finds ways to leverage our knowledge to improve our economy and quality of life
  • Outlines concrete, achievable goals for all those who make Chicago their home

This overview report summarizes the Chicago Climate Action Plan. For more detailed information, and to see the full scientific reports, visit www.chicagoclimateaction.org. Please join us by finding your role in implementing the Chicago Climate Action Plan.

Maryland Climate Action Plan

On April 20, 2007, Governor Martin O’Malley signed Executive Order 01.01.2007.07 (the Order) establishing the Maryland Commission on Climate Change (the Commission). Sixteen State agency heads and six members of the General Assembly comprise the Commission. The principal charge of the Commission is to develop a Plan of Action (the Climate Action Plan) to address the drivers of climate change, to prepare for its likely impacts in Maryland, and to establish goals and timetables for implementation.

The Order emphasized Maryland’s particular vulnerability to climate change impacts of sea level rise, increased storm intensity, extreme droughts and heat waves, and increased wind and rainfall events. It recognized that human activities such as coastal development, burning of fossil fuels, and increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are contributing to the causes and consequences of climate change. While noting Maryland’s recent climate initiatives, the Order emphasized that continued leadership by example by Maryland State and local governments is imperative.

The Commission is supported by three Working Groups whose members were appointed by the Commission Chair, Shari T. Wilson, Secretary, Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE): Scientific and Technical Working Group (STWG), chaired by Donald Boesch, President, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, and co-chaired by Frank W. Dawson, Assistant Secretary of Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Robert M. Summers, Deputy Secretary of MDE; Greenhouse Gas and Carbon Mitigation Working Group (MWG), chaired by George (Tad) Aburn, Director of MDE’s Air and Radiation Management Administration, and co-chaired by Malcolm Woolf, Director, Maryland Energy Administration (MEA); and Adaptation and Response Working Group (ARWG), chaired by John R. Griffin, Secretary of DNR, and co-chaired by Richard Eberhart Hall, Secretary, Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) and Don Halligan, Assistant Secretary of MDP. These Working Groups and the technical work groups (TWGs) that support them represent diverse stakeholder interests and bring broad perspective and expertise to the Commission’s work. The Commission’s work was facilitated by a consultant, the Center for Climate Strategies (CCS).

Comprehensive Strategy for Reducing Maryland’s Vulnerability to Climate Change Phase I: Sea-level rise and coastal storms

The Adaptation and Response Working Group (ARWG) of the Maryland Commission on Climate Change (mccc) was charged with developing the Comprehensive Strategy for Reducing Maryland’s Vulnerability to Climate Change. The Executive Order calls for the Strategy to outline specific policy recommendations for reducing the vulnerability of the state’s natural and cultural resources and communities to the impacts of climate change, with an initial focus on sea-level rise and coastal hazards, including shore erosion and coastal flooding.

This report lays out the specific priority policy recommendations of the ARWG to address short-and long-term adaptation and response measures, planning and policy integration, education and outreach, performance measurement, and, where necessary, new legislation and/or modifications to existing laws. For the purposes of this report, the priority policy recommendations have been condensed and a select number of implementation targets identified.

Maryland Climate Action Plan, Chapter 5: Reducing Maryland’s Vulnerability to Climate Change

On April 20, 2007, Governor Martin O’Malley signed Executive Order 01.01.2007.07 (the Order) establishing the Maryland Commission on Climate Change (the Commission). Sixteen State agency heads and six members of the General Assembly comprise the Commission. The principal charge of the Commission is to develop a Plan of Action (the Climate Action Plan) to address the drivers of climate change, to prepare for its likely impacts in Maryland, and to establish goals and timetables for implementation.

The Order emphasized Maryland’s particular vulnerability to climate change impacts of sea level rise, increased storm intensity, extreme droughts and heat waves, and increased wind and rainfall events. It recognized that human activities such as coastal development, burning of fossil fuels, and increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are contributing to the causes and consequences of climate change. While noting Maryland’s recent climate initiatives, the Order emphasized that continued leadership by example by Maryland State and local governments is imperative.

The Commission is supported by three Working Groups whose members were appointed by the Commission Chair, Shari T. Wilson, Secretary, Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE): Scientific and Technical Working Group (STWG), chaired by Donald Boesch, President, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, and co-chaired by Frank W. Dawson, Assistant Secretary of Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Robert M. Summers, Deputy Secretary of MDE; Greenhouse Gas and Carbon Mitigation Working Group (MWG), chaired by George (Tad) Aburn, Director of MDE’s Air and Radiation Management Administration, and co-chaired by Malcolm Woolf, Director, Maryland Energy Administration (MEA); and Adaptation and Response Working Group (ARWG), chaired by John R. Griffin, Secretary of DNR, and co-chaired by Richard Eberhart Hall, Secretary, Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) and Don Halligan, Assistant Secretary of MDP. These Working Groups and the technical work groups (TWGs) that support them represent diverse stakeholder interests and bring broad perspective and expertise to the Commission’s work. The Commission’s work was facilitated by a consultant, the Center for Climate Strategies (CCS).

Analysis of Climate Adaptation Strategies for Southeast US Coastal Cities

The realities of climate change are no longer future predictions to address in years to come. Impacts to Southeast coastal communities from rising sea levels, strange weather, and stronger storms caused by a warming planet are occurring today. Trends in scientific measurements clearly indicate that temperatures are rising, sea ice is melting, and storm intensity is increasing. The Southeast coastline is particularly vulnerable to these changes and local communities are the first to feel the impacts and address the needs. Yet many conversations about adaptation to climate change impacts are only occurring at high levels of government concerning international issues. Local decision-makers in the Southeast U.S. need tools to identify strategies that will provide adequate protection to their citizens as well as to manage environmental quality and prepare for any uncertainties.

This Master’s project identifies primary and secondary climate change impacts to coastal areas of the Southeast U.S. A preliminary analysis was conducted to identify the societal implications incurred from impacts and the specific sector of society to which those impacts correspond. A resiliency criterion analysis was then created to qualitatively examine climate adaptation response strategies through three core evaluation mechanisms: adequate adaptive capacity, environmental sustainability, and the win-win nature of measures. To test the usefulness of the resiliency criteria, sea level rise response strategies were analyzed. Methods for this project included an extensive literature review of scientific findings as well as in-depth interviews with nine professional experts in the fields of government, academia, and coastal environmental nonprofit organizations.

The results of the criteria analysis indicate that measures receiving a “very high” ranking thoroughly meet the resiliency goals of maximizing human safety, community protection, environmental sustainability, and flexibility. Measures ranking “low” or “very low” fail the resiliency criteria in two or more categories and likely contribute to environmental degradation. Reviewing adaptation strategies for resiliency is an effective determination of strategic response initiatives. Creating communities resilient to climate  change will require local officials to utilize tools such as this to choose optimal adaptation strategies.

British Columbia's Climate Action Plan

This Climate Action Plan – Phase One describes how the government will build on the framework established since 2007 and identify choices we can all make to save money and reduce our carbon footprint. We will develop subsequent phases of the plan with the continued guidance of the very best scientific, economic and engineering minds in British Columbia and throughout the world.

Second Report and Initial Recommendations Miami-Dade County Climate Change Advisory Task Force

These initial recommendations were drafted at the committee level for review by the Miami-Dade Climate Change Advisory Task Force (CCATF). After extensive deliberations and further development, the recommendations were unanimously approved by the full Task Force on March 20, 2008. The items proposed focus on both mitigation activities and adaptation strategies. Mitigation efforts include activities that attempt to slow the process of global climate change by lowering the level of greenhouse gases [GHG] in the atmosphere, such as reducing fossil fuel consumption. Adaptation efforts include proactive steps we can take now to begin the process of making the County more resilient to the impacts that we are likely to experience.

The Prairie Climate Resilience Project: Producer Coping and Adaptation Responses to Weather Shocks and Stresses in Southern Alberta

This project was part of two larger studies being conducted by the International Institute of Sustainable Development: The Prairie Climate Resilience Project and the Adaptive Policies Project. The specific objective of the field research reported in this document was to examine farm-level and organization-level experiences with and responses to extreme weather events in the Coaldale and Foremost regions of Alberta.

Adaptation Planning – What U.S. States and Localities are Doing

The scientific community has reached a strong consensus that the climate is changing. Current projections show further global temperature increases from 2.5ºF to 10.4ºF by 2100, while warming in the United States is expected to be even higher. This warming will have significant consequences for the United States, causing sea-level rise that will gradually inundate coastal areas and increase both beach erosion and flooding from coastal storms, changes in precipitation patterns, increased risk of droughts and floods, stronger hurricanes, threats to biodiversity, and a number of potential challenges for public health. Early impacts of climate change are already appearing. Several U.S. legislative committees are analyzing proposed federal greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction policies, and dozens of states are taking action to reduce GHG emissions. While these actions are vital to reducing the impacts of future climate change, we are already committed to further warming for decades to come. As a result, strategies to adapt to the impacts of climate change will be necessary as a parallel strategy to mitigating greenhouse gas emissions..While governments act to mitigate future climate change, they must also plan and act to address the impacts. This preparation includes risk assessments, prioritization of projects, funding and allocation of both financial and human resources, solution development and implementation, and rapid deployment of information sharing and decision support tools. Corresponding to the size of the challenge, impacts span entire communities and regions. As such, adaptation is dependent on numerous stakeholders from federal, state and local government, science and academia, the private sector, and community residents to develop solutions to complex problems for which prior solutions may not exist. Adaptation will require creativity, compromise, and collaboration across agencies, sectors and traditional geographic boundaries.This paper focuses on adaptation plans and actions in progress by state and local governments. Many of these efforts are in their earliest stages. Some states are including adaptation within the scope of their state Climate Action Plans addressing GHG emissions. A few others have recognized the need for separate and comprehensive adaptation commissions to parallel their mitigation efforts. Many are simply responding to climate impacts as they occur, without necessarily attributing the impact to climate change. Regardless of the basis for the adaptive response, states have much they can learn from each other, and from localities where adaptation is already occurring. While comprehensive and proactive adaptation planning is still in the early stages, as states complete their GHG mitigation plans, adaptation planning is gaining greater attention and resources from states and localities.