Federal Actions for a Climate Resilient Nation: Progress Report of the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force (2011)
In October 2009, President Obama signed Executive Order 13514, Federal Leadership in Environmental and Energy Performance, which sets sustainability goals for Federal agencies and focuses on making improvements in agency environmental, energy, and economic performance. The Executive Order charged the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force with providing recommendations on how Federal policies, programs, and planning efforts can better prepare the United States for climate change. In October 2010, the Task Force recommended a set of policy goals and actions in its Progress Report to the President. The Task Force outlined how the Federal Government should work with local, state, and tribal partners to provide leadership, coordination, science, and services to address climate risks to the Nation as well as Federal assets and operations. In the 2010 Report, the Task Force committed to providing an update on Federal Government adaptation progress in 2011. This report provides that update in five key adaptation areas that align with the policy goals set forth by the Task Force in 2010:
Integrating Adaptation into Federal Government Planning and Activities: Agencies are taking steps to manage climate impacts to Federal agency missions, programs, and operations to ensure that resources are invested wisely and Federal services remain effective for the American people. Agencies are developing climate adaptation plans to identify their vulnerabilities and prioritize activities that reduce climate risk.Building Resilience to Climate Change in Communities: Recognizing that most adaptation occurs at the local level, Federal agencies are working with diverse stakeholders in communities to prepare for a range of extreme weather and climate impacts (e.g. flooding, drought, and wildfire) that put people, property, local economies, and ecosystems at risk.Improving Accessibility and Coordination of Science for Decision Making: To advance understanding and management of climate risks, the Federal Government is working to develop strong partnerships, enhance regional coordination of climate science and services, and provide accessible information and tools to help decision makers develop strategies to reduce extreme weather impacts and climate risks.Developing Strategies to Safeguard Natural Resources in a Changing Climate: Recognizing that American communities depend on natural resources and the valuable ecosystem services they provide, agencies are working with key partners to create a coordinated set of national strategies to help safeguard the Nation’s valuable freshwater, ocean, fish, wildlife, and plant resources in a changing climate.
Enhancing Efforts to Lead and Support International Adaptation: To promote economic development, regional stability, and U.S. security interests around the world, the Federal Government is supporting a range of bilateral and multilateral climate change adaptation activities and coordinating defense, development and diplomacy policies to take into account growing climate risks.
Extreme weather and other climate change impacts pose significant social, economic, and environmental risks to the United States. The U.S. Government has a responsibility to reduce climate risks to public health and safety, economic well-being, natural resources, and Federal programs and services. While much work remains, this report describes important Federal progress toward the Task Force’s strategic vision of a resilient, healthy, and prosperous Nation in the face of a changing climate.