USA - Federal Agencies Reinvigorate Climate Adaptation

Federal agencies are updating 26 new agency adaptation plans in response to President Biden's Executive Order 14008.

The federal government last month returned to a crucial bit of business: ensuring it can keep doing its job as the climate changes. Climate change threatens every aspect of U.S. government operations and assets, from a safe and healthy workforce to functional office buildings and vehicle fleets and reliable supply chains. But climate adaptation plans first developed by federal agencies under the Obama administration languished under Trump. The Biden-Harris administration deserves a lot of credit for recognizing the current and growing danger of a more extreme climate, and for moving quickly to issue 26 new agency adaptation plans in response to Executive Order 14008.

NRDC just filed formal comments on the 26 climate adaptation plans, offering multiple recommendations to the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for making the plans even more comprehensive, equitable, and actionable.

In general, the 2021 plans are more specific and focused than the previous generation was. Still, improvements are needed across the board to ensure workers are better protected, disaster prevention is prioritized over response, vulnerable communities get the help they need, and leadership puts these issues front and center. We cannot allow these plans to molder away in agency filing cabinets.

Here are our top recommendations for improving the adaptation plans.

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