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American Society of Adaptation Professionals Response to RFI on Climate Policies

Geos Institute led a working group with the American Society of Adaptation Professionals to develop official comments to the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. The Committee asked for suggestions for actions it can take now and in the future to move federal climate policy forward. We developed a set of overarching and cross-cutting themes, outlined below. More detailed policy responses can be found in the official comments.

Mainstream climate. Evaluate all federal projects and policies through a climate lens that includes social equity and ecological integrity. ○ Integrate climate considerations into existing agencies and policies to the greatest extent possible. Reform and fill gaps where necessary.

  • Prioritize accessible tools for users on the ground within existing programs.
  • Coordinate adaptation, mitigation, and multi-hazard interactions to maximize the co-benefits of climate planning.

Be proactive. Incentivize proactive planning for communities and encourage preparedness for rebuilding more resilient communities if disasters occur.

Develop lasting authority. Create statutory authority for guidelines, approvals, and funding in place of executive action.

  • Emphasize resources for planning and implementation over research; for research, prioritize making downscaled projections nationally available and solutions-focused research.
  • Borrow from Obama-era executive orders, task forces, and councils to avoid re-inventing federal processes and include enforcement capacity.

Elevate social equity. Avoid maladaptive planning that simply shifts existing vulnerabilities in time or place.

  • Engage front-line communities as partners.

Support nature-based solutions. Redesign evaluation processes to fully consider blue/green infrastructure as an alternative to conventional infrastructure.

Facilitate local and regional action. Use the federal government’s coordinating and convening capacity to support collaboration across sectors and levels of government.

  • Prioritize frameworks for federal guidance and community-based solutions.
  • Borrow from existing successful models of regional collaboration.

 

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