2021 Climate Adaptation Action Plan - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Posted on: 12/21/2021 - Updated on: 12/21/2021

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Climate change poses a real and present danger to communities all across the country. Its impacts are already being felt. President Biden’s Executive Order 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, requires federal agencies to develop Climate Action Plans that describe their agency’s climate vulnerabilities and the steps it will take to bolster adaptation and increase resilience to the impacts of climate change.

This 2021 EPA Climate Adaptation Action Plan (“Plan”) builds on a strong foundation. The agency released its first Climate Change Adaptation Plan in June 2014, followed by 17 Climate Change Adaptation Implementation Plans prepared by its National Environmental Program Offices, National Support Offices, and 10 Regional Offices. The 2021 Plan accelerates action and focuses agency attention on priority actions it will take to fulfill our mission and increase human and ecosystem resilience even as the climate changes.

This Plan will be followed by updates to the 17 Implementation Plans produced in 2014. Every office will report on its progress since 2014 and identify future actions to address the agency-wide priorities identified in this Plan. EPA offices will engage with states, tribes, territories, local communities, and other stakeholders when updating their plans.

EPA’s FY 2023-2026 Strategic Plan includes a new goal focused on tackling the climate crisis. The goal includes three objectives that reflect priorities in Executive Order 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad:

  • Objective 1: Reduce Emissions that Cause Climate Change
  • Objective 2: Accelerate Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Change Impacts
  • Objective 3: Advance International and Subnational Climate Efforts

The 2021 EPA Climate Adaptation Action Plan contains five agency-wide priority actions and measures for evaluating performance that support Objective 2. The Plan also supports the agency’s and government-wide efforts to advance environmental justice.

The Office of Policy is responsible for the development, management, and execution of this Plan. The Associate Administrator for EPA’s Office of Policy is designated as the agency’s Senior Climate Change Adaptation Official. The official will work with the agency’s Chief Sustainability Officer and with EPA programs and regions to ensure implementation of the agency-wide priority actions and management activities described in this Plan.

The Cross-EPA Work Group on Climate Change Adaptation will support the goals of the Senior Adaptation Official and Chief Sustainability Officer by coordinating the implementation of this Plan across National Programs and Regional Offices. The work group includes representation from every National Environmental Program Office, Regional Office, and National Support Offices. The Senior Advisor for Climate Adaptation in the Office of Policy will chair the work group.


Climate Adaptation Action Plan. October 2021. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. https://www.sustainability.gov/pdfs/epa-2021-cap.pdf

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The Environmental Protection Agency is an independent executive agency of the United States federal government tasked with environmental protection matters. The Environmental Protection Agency has ten Regional offices, each of which is responsible for the execution of the Agency's programs within several states and territories.

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