Building Climate Resilience on the Ground
On Monday, the Administration released the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, a suite of resources to help communities prepare for and respond to the impacts of climate change. The Toolkit, which was called for in the President’s Climate Action Plan, provides decision makers with easy access to information ranging from which neighborhoods are likely to flood in future storm surges to how future drought conditions could affect regional crop growth. The Toolkit also includes case studies that feature examples of how decision makers have used these tools, lessons learned, and best practices.
The Toolkit’s initial focus is on coastal flood risk, food resilience, ecosystems, and human health. In the coming months, it will be updated to include more resources and address additional topics such as water and transportation.
Some features of the Toolkit include:
- The Climate Explorer: A visualization tool that offers maps of climate stressors and impacts, as well as interactive graphs showing daily observations and long-term averages from thousands of weather stations across the country.
- Steps to Resilience: A five-step process that users can follow to initiate, plan, and implement projects to help make their homes, communities, and infrastructure more resilient to climate-related hazards.
- “Taking Action” stories: More than 20 real-world case studies describing climate-related risks and opportunities that communities and businesses face, steps they’re taking to plan and respond, and tools and techniques they’re using to improve resilience.
- Federal resources and tools: Centralized access to Federal sites for future climate projections, as well as freely available tools for accessing and analyzing climate data, generating visualizations, exploring climate projections, estimating hazards, and engaging stakeholders in resilience-building efforts.
The Toolkit was premiered at a meeting of the State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, which was established by President Obama last year as part of the Climate Action Plan. The Task Force concurrently submitted their recommendations for how the Federal Government can support resilience at the state, local, and tribal levels. The recommendations are the culmination of a year of work to solicit input from across governments, trade associations, academic organizations, civil society, and other stakeholders. They offer guidance on how the Federal Government should modernize programs and policies to incorporate climate change, remove barriers to and incentivize community resilience, and provide actionable information and tools. The recommendations are intended to reflect the diverse needs of communities nationwide on issues ranging from health to natural resources management to infrastructure and building design.