Access a range of climate-related reports issued by government agencies and scientific organizations. Browse the reports listed below, or filter by scope, content, or focus in the boxes above. To expand your results, click the Clear Filters link.
This report acknowledges that climate adaptation has begun to emerge as a field of practice, but states that the work is not evolving quickly or deliberately enough for communities to adequately prepare for the dangerous shocks and stresses that increasingly will be introduced by climate change.
- assesses the current state of the climate adaptation field;
- provides a vision of what a mature, effective field would look like; and
- recommends steps that should be taken to realize that vision.
The city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, is developing a Climate Change Preparedness and Resilience Plan as a practical guide to implement specific strategies in response to climate change threats (heat, flooding from precipitation, flooding from sea level rise and storm surge). The Alewife Preparedness Plan—the first neighborhood plan to be developed—will test how the proposed strategies might create a new framework for resiliency in Alewife. It comprises two parts: a Report and a Handbook. The Report provides the context, framework, and strategies to create a prepared and resilient Alewife neighborhood; the Handbook, a companion document, is a practical compendium of specific preparedness and resiliency strategies and best practices.
A coalition of 26 businesses, environmental organizations, community groups, and universities in the Detroit area has produced the “Detroit Climate Action Plan.” The proposition intends to address public health and environmental justice issues through a plan that individuals and businesses can practice. The 77-page report contains 20 major goals for the coming years, including calls for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by Detroit businesses by 10 percent in the next 5 years, and 80 percent by 2050. Additionally, the plan recommends improvements to the energy efficiency and durability of homes, better stormwater runoff management, expanded use of renewable energy, and broadened recycling and organic waste collection by 2022.
This assessment was a multidisciplinary research project that investigated future changes to southern Santa Barbara County climate, beaches, watersheds, wetland habitats, and beach ecosystems. The target audience is local land use planners and decision makers, and the main objective is to provide information that assists the cities of Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, and Goleta, the County of Santa Barbara, and UC Santa Barbara in climate adaptation planning with a clear focus on coastal ecosystems.
From Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu's Introduction: As we marked the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in 2015, we launched the world’s first comprehensive city resilience strategy, Resilient New Orleans, combining local expertise with global best practices to confront our most urgent threats, adapt our city to our changing natural environment, invest in equity, create flexible and reliable systems, and prepare for future shocks.
It is not enough to plan for how we will adapt to climate change. We must end our contribution to it. As the world committed to action in Paris in 2015, so too did we. I signed the Global Covenant of Mayors on Climate & Energy, adding New Orleans to the team of more than 7,400 cities in 119 countries worldwide committed to taking climate action.
In the aftermath of Tropical Storms Irene and Sandy, the population centers of Greater New Haven and Bridgeport recognized significant exposure and vulnerability to their infrastructure, environment, and socioeconomic assets from extreme weather events and a changing climate. To counteract immediate and longer-term risks and broaden dialogue on community resilience building, the Southern Connecticut Regional Framework for Coastal Resilience project was launched. The overarching goal of this project was prioritizing actions and strengthening partnerships by providing proactive risk assessment, community engagement, conceptual design of on-the-ground projects, and this Final Report. The principal purpose of the project was to advance a Regional Resilience Framework—built on projects and partnerships—needed to help improve resilience for over 591,000 residents that represent over 30 percent of Connecticut’s coast. A core goal of this project was to strengthen the resilience of existing and future ecosystems, including a diverse suite of services and co-benefits, alongside existing and future development activities within a population center critical to the state of Connecticut’s future.
The Tampa Bay region is known as one of the most vulnerable in the world to wind damage, coastal flooding from storm surge, and rising sea levels. The City of St. Petersburg—with over 60 miles of coastal frontage—has already felt the impacts of storms. The adverse effects from these types of environmental events often impact low-income communities the hardest, as they have the most difficulty bouncing back from stresses and shocks. The City of St. Petersburg is committed to ensuring that investments in making the city resilient are equitable and create a range of opportunities that everyone can benefit from. The Urban Land Institute of Tampa Bay convened top experts in climate resilience from New Orleans, Miami, Boston, and the Tampa Bay region to provide technical assistance to the city on creating an equitable culture of resilience. A grant from the ULI Foundation and Kresge Foundation funded this effort.
This guidebook results from the culmination of a year of dialogue among diverse stakeholders in southeastern Connecticut who defined challenges and solutions from extreme weather, climate change, and shifting social and economic conditions. Participants included representatives from nine municipalities, public and private utilities, public health departments, chambers of commerce, major employers, conservation organizations, academic institutions, community non-profits, and state agencies, among others. The dialogue captured six themed planning sectors (water, food, ecosystem services, transportation, energy, and regional economy) in a process that used surface and integrated solutions to address singular and multiple challenges across planning sectors. The guidebook provides a quick reference resource to help shape and inform actions that will advance a regional resilience framework for southeastern Connecticut; an accompanying Summary of Findings captures the project's final outcomes and conclusions, as well as providing a comprehensive account of the objectives, process, and details.
This user-friendly summary is based on the 2015 report “City of Long Beach Climate Resiliency Assessment Report" and “Appendices” prepared by the Aquarium of the Pacific at the request of Mayor Robert Garcia. The report includes clear infographics that describe current and projected conditions in the city. It also describe what the city is currently doing and what else the city and its residents can do.
This report summarizes findings from a workshop held in El Paso, Texas, on July 13, 2016. The El Paso-Juárez-Las Cruces region is home to approximately 2.4 million people, most of whom are living in or near the urban centers of Ciudad Juárez (Chihuahua), El Paso, and Las Cruces (New Mexico). These cities share characteristics, such as a high proportion of residents of Hispanic origin, median income below the U.S. national average, and a range of climate-related environmental issues that include drought, flooding, air pollution, dust storms, and frequent occurrences of extremely high temperatures during the late spring and early summer. With hotter temperatures and more frequent and persistent heat waves projected for the El Paso-Juárez-Las Cruces region, it is critical to develop more robust systems of institutions, social learning, and partnerships to understand risks and strengthen public health resilience.
This report is part of a series of six case studies that explore lessons that are being learned by climate collaboratives from around the United States that are bringing together local governments and other stakeholders at the regional level to both reduce carbon pollution (mitigation) and prepare for the impacts of climate change (adaptation). Each case study explores the history and development structure and decision-making methods, funding sources, roles, and initiatives of each of these climate collaboratives. A synthesis report also explores lessons that can be learned by comparing the efforts of each collaborative on climate policy in their regions. These case studies were supported by a grant from the Kresge Foundation. In developing these case studies, the Georgetown Climate Center collaborated with the Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation (ARCCA).
The National Health Security Strategy of the United States calls on people and their communities to prepare for the threats to health that come with disasters and emergencies, to be ready to protect themselves, and to remain resilient in the face of such threats. The strategy defines resilience as “the sustained ability of communities to withstand, adapt to, and recover from adversity.” How can communities best incorporate resilience into their approaches and practices, especially in light of the potential consequences of climate change? This resource—prepared especially for community-based groups—provides information from the fields of psychology and other social sciences to help communities better understand and prepare for the adverse effects of climate change
Climate Ready Boston is an ongoing initiative to help the people and city of Boston to plan for the future impacts of climate change and develop resilient solutions. Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh describes the challenge and the city's commitment in the report's introduction: "Climate change poses a greater threat to some Bostonians. The very young and very old, people who do not speak English, and those with low incomes or medical illnesses or disabilities are all at elevated risk. By ensuring that our solutions are built together with those communities and in response to their needs, climate action will help us build a more equitable city. Furthermore, because climate change knows no borders, we will work with neighboring municipalities to address the regional impacts we face together." The Climate Ready Boston website offers proposed solutions and information specific to a range of locales. It also offers a presentation and report on Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Projections for Boston.
This report examines efforts to develop and implement climate-adaptation projects in 17 cities across the United States. It also presents interviews and insights from Thought Leaders in the field of climate adaptation.
The study analyzed efforts underway, motivations for action, and how communities went from planning to implementation. The report provides insights into the practice of climate change adaptation, including suggestions for supporting community-based champions who are working to reduce their communities’ vulnerability to climate change impacts.
Climate Ready DC is the District’s strategy to make the city more resilient to future climate change. It is based on the best available climate science and was developed through consultation with leading experts within and outside of the District government.
Emeryville is the first city in California's Bay Area to update its Climate Action Plan and align its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions targets with the State of California’s climate targets. This Climate Action Plan 2.0 includes updates to Emeryville’s 2008 Climate Action Plan, looking towards state targets for reducing 40 percent below baseline levels of GHG emissions by 2030 and 80 percent below baseline levels by 2050. The CAP 2.0 meets the compliance for the Global Covenant of Mayors, a platform for standardizing climate change action planning for local city governments and demonstrating local commitment to climate change mitigation and adaptation. The plan contains GHG targets, updated GHG community and municipal inventories, business-as-usual GHG forecast, deep decarbonization vision for 2050, adaptation and mitigation action plans, and a monitoring plan. With 17 mitigation goals, five adaptation goals, over 100 combined initiatives for 2030, and five long-term strategies for 2050, this CAP 2.0 represents a strong step in reducing emissions and building climate resilience.
This handbook summarizes the current state of National Park Service (NPS) climate adaptation and key approaches currently in practice or considered for climate change adaptation in coastal areas in order to guide adaptation planning in coastal parks. The chapters focus on policy, planning, cultural resources, natural resources, facility management, and communication/education. The handbook highlights processes, tools, and examples that are applicable to many types of NPS plans and decisions. One chapter includes a case study of Hurricane Sandy response and recovery strategies, including changes to infrastructure. Another chapter features practical coastal infrastructure information, including cost per unit length of constructed features (including seawalls, beach nourishment, and nature-based features). The level of detail varies by topic depending on the state of research and practice in that field.
With insight from 26 campus and stakeholder advisors, the support of the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s Transportation Division, and input from regional food supply chain businesses throughout the region, this 68-page report details the process used to assess the Chicago region food system and findings through the three-year participatory research effort. It includes eleven sections with 17 figures to illustrate key concepts, along with extensive supporting materials. The report presents three innovations with proofs of concept that could be applied widely in the region and beyond to improve food distribution, both in rural and urban regions.
Blacksburg's Climate Action Plan represents both a short- and long-term set of strategies to pursue to reach the community’s energy and climate action goals. The long-range goal, established by Town Council in 2007, is to reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. Blacksburg’s Climate Action Plan is divided into six chapters covering the major sectors of the community responsible for Blacksburg’s greenhouse gas emissions. Citizens' priority strategies are reflected in each of the sector chapters in three ways: a set of “Individual Actions” that citizens can choose to adopt in their own lives, shorter time-horizon “Let’s Get Started” strategies, and longer-term “Looking Ahead” strategies.
This guide (NIST Special Publication 1190) outlines a practical six-step planning process to help communities establish affordable priorities and allocate resources to improve their resilience. With the guide, community leaders can incorporate resilience-driven, short- and long-term goals into their exising plans in order to preserve and enhance economic competitiveness.
In 2014, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Association to Preserve Cape Cod, the Cape Cod Commission, and the Massachusetts Environmental Trust, began an evaluation of the potential effects of sea-level rise on water table altitudes and depths to water on central and western Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Researchers found that the potential does exist for groundwater inundation in some areas, but the effects of sea-level rise on depths to water and infrastructure likely will not be substantial on a regional level.
The State of Maine is experiencing shifts in atmospheric and oceanographic conditions that put it at the precipice of abrupt climate change. This report—part of the Department of Homeland Security's Regional Resiliency Assessment Program (RRAP)—focuses on the local and regional consequences of climate disruptions and their impacts on critical infrastructure in the Casco Bay region, the most developed and populous region in Maine. The report identifies vulnerabilities that may potentially affect the region’s ability to maintain its critical infrastructure systems and recover from the impacts of climate change.
In January 2015, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia asked the Aquarium of the Pacific to take a lead in assessing the primary threats that climate change poses to Long Beach, to identify the most vulnerable neighborhoods and segments of the population, and to identify and provide a preliminary assessment of options to reduce those vulnerabilities. Over the course of 2015, the Aquarium hosted and participated in meetings and workshops with academic and government scientists, business and government leaders, local stakeholders, and Long Beach residents to discuss key issues facing our community as the result of climate change. This report, completed in December 2015, represents the culmination of these efforts. The report offers detailed assessments of the five main threats of climate change to Long Beach: drought, extreme heat, sea level rise and coastal flooding, deteriorating air quality, and public health and social vulnerability. It also provides an overview of what is currently being done to mitigate and adapt to these threats, and other options to consider. Finally, this report presents a series of steps and actions that city leaders and community stakeholders can use as a template for making Long Beach a model of a climate resilient city.
With the goal of creating a cleaner San Diego for future generations, the City of San Diego’s Climate Action Plan calls for eliminating half of all greenhouse gas emissions in the City and aims for all electricity used in the city to be from renewable sources by 2035. The Climate Action Plan is a package of policies that will benefit San Diego’s environment and economy. It will help create new jobs in the renewable energy industry, improve public health and air quality, conserve water, more efficiently use existing resources, increase clean energy production, improve quality of life, and save taxpayer money. The plan identifies steps the City of San Diego can take to achieve the 2035 targets, including creating a renewable energy program, implementing a zero waste plan, and changing policy to have a majority of the City’s fleet be electric vehicles. The Climate Action Plan helps achieve the greenhouse gas reduction targets set forth by the State of California. The City’s first Climate Action Plan was approved in 2005 and a commitment to update the plan was included in the City’s 2008 General Plan update.
King County, Washington's Strategic Climate Action Plan sets forth strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for climate change impacts.
Three years after Superstorm Sandy devastated parts of New York City, the housing stock in many urban coastal areas remains vulnerable to flooding. Much of the housing stock in these high-risk areas is out of compliance with federal flood-resistant design and construction standards.The report illustrates the significant design and financial hurdles of retrofitting multifamily housing common to many urban, coastal areas, describes existing policies and design approaches and their shortfalls, and provides recommendations for state and local practitioners to improve resilience of multi-family housing in their communities.
This guide provides a framework for the selection of appropriate storm damage risk reduction treatments for low-volume roads. There are important tasks and processes that are necessary to make informed treatment selections that this guide does not cover in detail, but should be included in comprehensive road management programs. These tasks include road condition inventories, hazard assessments, and strategic plans for treating high-hazard sites. Specific “stormproofing” measures discussed in this guide include timely road maintenance, many key road drainage measures, culvert diversion prevention, pulling back marginal fill slopes, use of biotechnical and vegetative slope stabilization and erosion control, gully prevention, bridge maintenance, and many other measures.
The New River Valley Livability Energy Report uses nine principles to describe a sustainable, affordable, and reliable regional energy plan for the New River Valley in Virginia. Each principle is accompanied by practical strategies communities can use to promote sustainability. The report could serve as a model for other regional energy plans.
This report—the first phase of the Department of the Interior (DOI) assessment effort for Hurricane Sandy projects—was developed for DOI by a metrics expert group of physical and ecological scientists and socioeconomic experts who recommended performance metrics for measuring changes in resilience resulting from the DOI-sponsored projects. It identifies natural and artificial coastal features most affected by Hurricane Sandy along the Northeast coast—such as marshes, beaches, and estuaries—and recommended metrics that would indicate resilience change in those features.
In 1993, Portland was the first U.S. city to create a local action plan for cutting carbon. Portland’s Climate Action Plan is a strategy to put Portland and Multnomah County on a path to achieve a 40 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and an 80 percent reduction by 2050 (compared to 1990 levels). The 2015 Climate Action Plan builds on the accomplishments to date with ambitious new policies, fresh research on consumption choices, and engagement with community leaders serving low-income households and communities of color to advance equity through the City and County’s climate action efforts.
The two main objectives of this pilot project were to (1) assess the vulnerability of Boston's Central Artery/Tunnel System to sea level rise and extreme storm events, and (2) investigate and present adaptation options to reduce identified vulnerabilities.
The State of New Hampshire has initiated a coordinated effort to proactively prepare for the effects of climate change on the natural and human resources of New Hampshire. An important aspect of this effort is to develop a vulnerability assessment of hydrologic response to climate change. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, is developing tools to predict how projected changes in temperature and precipitation will affect change in the hydrology of watersheds in the State. This study is a test case to assemble the information and create the tools to assess the hydrologic vulnerabilities in four specific watersheds.
The Toolkit—a downloadable PDF—is designed to benefit a wide range of public- and private-sector officials working with businesses and industries in the economic recovery process. It provides strategies and tactics for community leaders to focus on for economic recovery and preserving jobs, incorporating useful information for convening private and public stakeholders to identify key economic recovery strategies, tips on how to navigate federal resources for response and recovery, and implementation of recovery initiatives. The Toolkit was developed by the International Economic Development Council with nationwide input and funded in part by grants from the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration.
This guide for drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities provides examples of climate impacts and adaptation options. The guide includes sustainability briefs to support adaptation planning, examples of utilities implementing adaptation options, and worksheets to help with the planning process.
Find out how hometowns across the United States are building their resilience to climate change. Two women who studied climate change science and policy in graduate school took a three-month road trip to find out what climate change adaptation looks like in the United States. They visited more than 30 communities preparing for climate change and documented what they learned in blogs and through media reports. This report describes six big lessons from the ongoing adaptation work they saw across the country.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that regional economic prosperity is linked to an area’s ability to prevent, withstand, and quickly recover from major disruptions (i.e., "shocks") to its economic base. Many definitions of economic resilience limit its focus on the ability to quickly recover from a disruption. However, in the context of economic development, economic resilience becomes inclusive of three primary attributes: the ability to recover quickly from a shock, the ability to withstand a shock, and the ability to avoid the shock altogether. Establishing economic resilience in a local or regional economy requires the ability to anticipate risk, evaluate how that risk can impact key economic assets, and build a responsive capacity. Building economic resilience is highlighted in this guide from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The guide is primarily intended to assist in efforts to develop the content of a CEDS document, suggesting how to develop the document’s format and substance to make the strongest, most useful, and most effective CEDS possible.