07 April 2010

Report Proposes a National Strategy for Climate Change Adaptation

A recent US federal government report finds that climate change is already affecting the ability of federal agencies to fulfill their missions and recommends a new national strategy for climate change adaptation. The progress report from the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force—led by the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—concludes that the U.S. government must adapt to climate change and build resilience, but it finds significant gaps in the government's approach to these challenges. To address these gaps, the report calls for a national strategy to integrate climate science into decision-making processes, including the translation of climate science into tools and policies that support federal decision making.
The report also calls for improved communications on climate change impacts, adaptation, and resilience; additional training and resources within the federal government; better coordination and collaboration among U.S. government entities, as well as stakeholders; the identification of priority areas for a coordinated government response, such as water resource management and international adaptation; the establishment of a flexible framework for U.S. government agencies to understand, analyze, and respond to climate change challenges and opportunities; and an evaluation of the results of any adaptation effort, to capture any lessons learned. The task force includes the participation of more than 20 federal entities. See the task force's progress report on the White House Web site.