Today, the Biden-Harris administration released plans developed by more than 20 federal agencies that outline the steps each agency will take to ensure their facilities and operations adapt to and are increasingly resilient to impacts of climate change. The plans reflect President Biden’s whole-of-government approach to addressing the climate crisis as agencies integrate climate change preparedness into their missions and programs and build the resilience of federal assets to the accelerated impacts of climate change. The climate adaptation and resilience plans were previously submitted and reviewed by the National Climate Working Group, the Federal Director of Sustainability of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in response to President Biden’s executive order. on tackling the climate crisis at home and abroad.
Agencies face a host of risks caused by climate change, including increased costs of maintaining and repairing infrastructure damaged by more frequent and extreme weather events, problems with efficiency and program readiness, and risks to the health and safety of federal employees who work outside the country. By taking action now to better manage and mitigate climate risks, we will minimize disruption to federal operations, assets and programs while creating safer working conditions for employees.
To address these challenges, President Biden has prioritized revitalizing the climate adaptation and resilience planning efforts of federal agencies. Through this approach, major agencies have developed adaptation and resilience plans to address their most significant climate risks and vulnerabilities. The plans leverage procurement decisions to drive innovation and increase resilience against supply chain disruptions and deliver on President Biden’s pledge to invest dollars in climate and clean energy in communities environmental justice through its Justice40 initiative.
As part of these efforts, agencies will mainstream adaptation and resilience planning and implementation into all of their operations and programs, and continually update their adaptation plans. In addition to these plans, President Biden’s Build Back Better program and the bipartisan infrastructure agreement include bold, historic and transformational investments that will strengthen our nation’s resilience to climate change and extreme weather events, including modernizing infrastructure. electrical infrastructure, reconstruction of American roads and bridges, and more.
Today, the Biden-Harris administration makes available more than 20 adaptation and resilience plans of major federal agencies. Highlights of this year’s plans include:
- Protect federal investments. The agencies have identified the programs and missions most threatened by climate change. This first step is essential to ensure the best use of taxpayer dollars in response to changing weather conditions. For example, the Department of Transportation incorporate resilience criteria into transport grant and discretionary loan programs, where appropriate. The Department of Justice Integrate resilience into design and construction specifications for new construction and modernization projects and solicitation of future leases. In addition, the Department of Defense (DOD) is committed to using climate intelligence, including from its Recently released DoD Climate Assessment Tool, to inform and educate military planners and other key decision makers on where and how military installations are threatened by the dangers of climate change.
- Identify leadership and responsibility. For the first time, agencies have identified top leaders and created new accountability structures so that adaptation and resilience are led from the top. For example, several agencies, including the Department of Education, have now identified their under-secretaries as leaders of resilience. DOD mandated a new climate working group composed of the highest management of the department to coordinate the efforts of climate mitigation, adaptation and resilience of the DOD.
- Develop a more resilient supply chain. Agencies are reorganizing supply chain policies and operations to create a more climate resilient system. For example, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) modify the use of an existing tool to filter its key supplies of mission critical goods and services to identify those at risk due to disruption caused by acute extreme weather events or long term climate change. The Treasury Department develops contingency plans to support critical supply chains for mission operational needs, including materials required for the production of coins and coins. In addition, the Ministry of Energy identifies opportunities to establish clear climate adaptation requirements for their subcontractors and suppliers to employ climate change adaptation and resilience practices.
- Strengthening protections for workers and communities. The greatest asset of our country and the federal government is our people. Agencies recognize the need to better support American workers against the impacts of climate change. For example, the Departments of Agriculture and inside, with the Personal Management Office, fulfill President Biden’s pledge that federal wildland firefighters will earn a minimum of $ 15 an hour for their essential work. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) developed a tool which provides real-time heat data paired with local vulnerability data for state and local emergency and public health planners to better prepare for and respond to extreme heat events.
- Building a more equitable future. Climate change and its impacts can exacerbate existing health and socio-economic inequalities, putting some populations at particular risk. To meet this challenge, the agencies described their actions in support of this administration’s environmental justice objectives. For example, the Department of Transportation advance climate equity by committing to consider the impacts of heat, poor air quality, vector-borne diseases, and other hazards more likely to affect environmental justice communities during the choice of site and design of projects.
The Environmental Quality Council (CEQ) and the OMB also seek public opinion on the agency’s climate adaptation plans. Members of the public can submit comments through the dossier at https://www.regulations.gov/ (File ID: CEQ-2021-0003) until November 6, 2021. The CEQ will also be holding a virtual meeting this fall with national organizations with expertise in climate adaptation and resilience or who have expressed an interest in climate change. agency plans.
The agencies that publish the climate change adaptation and resilience plans are:
1 Department of Agriculture
2 Department of Commerce
3 Department of Defense
4 Ministry of Education
5 Department of Energy
6 Ministry of Health and Social Services
7 Department of Homeland Security
8 Department of Housing and Town Planning
9 Ministry of the Interior
10 Ministry of Justice
11 Ministry of Labor
12 State Department
13 Treasury Department
14 Ministry of Transport
15 Department of Veterans Affairs
16 Development finance company
17 Environmental Protection Agency
18 General service administration
19 National Aeronautics and Space Administration
20 Office of Personal Management
21 Smithsonian Institution
22 United States Agency for International Development
23 US Army Corps of Engineers
All plans are available on www.sustainability.gov/adaptation.