White House Climate Change Initiatives

The White House has released a factsheet today about a series of climate change initiatives that were based on the recommendations of the State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness. The initiatives are intended to improve local planning for flooding, coastal erosion, and storm surge; predicting landslide risks under sea level rise and storms; and protecting the electricity supply. You can read a summary in the New York Times here.

Highlights include:

  • National Disaster Resilience Competition. Nearly $1 billion to make resources available to communities that have been struck by natural disasters in recent years.
  • Helping tribes prepare for climate impacts. A $10 million Federal-Tribal Climate Resilience Partnership and Technical Assistance Program that will help tribes prepare for climate change by developing and delivering adaptation training.
  • Investing in the nation’s rural electric system. The USDA will award $236.3 million in funding for eight states to support improved rural electric infrastructure.
  • Developing advanced mapping data and tools. USGS launched a $13.1 million 3-D Elevation Program partnership designed to bring Federal agencies, academia, corporate entities, states, tribes, and communities together to develop advanced mapping for flood risk management, water resource planning, mitigation of coastal erosion and storm surge impacts, and identification of landslide hazards. More information is available athttp://nationalmap.gov/3DEP/.
  • Safeguarding access to quality drinking water amid drought. USDA will announce additional funds to help rural communities struggling with drought.

Rebuilding stronger and safer after natural disasters:

  • Establishing a Mitigation Integration Task Force.  Working with State, tribal, local, and eligible private non-profit partners, FEMA will identify pilot projects in current and emerging disasters where there are specific opportunities to make investments that result in a more resilient outcome than using a single funding source and program.
  • Accounting for Climate Change in Hazard Mitigation Planning.  More information is available at http://www.fema.gov/multi-hazard-mitigation-planning.

Building more resilient communities:

  • Committing to “Preparedness Pilots.”  Two “Preparedness Pilots” in cooperation with the City of Houston and the State of Colorado, with NASA (Johnson Space Flight Center) and the Energy Department (National Renewable Energy Laboratory).  T
  • Making our coasts more resilient.  NOAA announced new program guidance under Section 309 of the Coastal Zone Management Act to ensure greater consideration of how climate change may exacerbate challenges in the management of coastal areas. $1.5 million of competitive funding will be available to help states and tribes make improvements to their coastal management programs.  More information is available at http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/.
  • Improving stormwater management. The EPA launched a Green Infrastructure Collaborative among government agencies, NGOs, and other private sector entities to advance green stormwater infrastructure.
  • Assessing climate-related health hazards. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today released a new guide, “Assessing Health Vulnerability to Climate Change,” to help public health departments assess local vulnerabilities to health hazards associated with climate change:  http://www.cdc.gov/climateandhealth/pubs/AssessingHealthVulnerabilitytoClimateChange.pdf