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Thursday, 06 December 2012 04:09

Roundup of Climate Change Adaptation Resources for State and Local Governments

Climate change is a global problem, but its impacts will be felt locally. Much of the responsibility for adapting to those impacts will fall on state and local agencies. We’ve rounded up a list of resources and tools that may be useful to state and local governments as they work on adaptation initiatives.

***EPA Directories of Adaptation Tools and Resources for Public Officials
EPA’s State and Local Climate and Energy site has a topic page on impacts and adaptation that includes links to state adaptation plans, guidebooks, programs, and tools. EPA’s Climate Change Site includes a list of adaptation-related tools, guidebooks, clearinghouses, and other resources for public officials. The page includes links to clearinghouses (online directories of adaptation resources), sector-specific tools and resources, region-specific tools and resources, and a series of guidebooks on adaptation-related topics.

***EPA’s Webcast Series on Climate Change Adaptation for State and Local Governments
EPA’s Local Climate and Energy Program and the State Technical Forum jointly held a series of three webcasts on this topic in November and December 2010 and January 2011. All of the presentations, papers, and audio recordings from these webcasts are available on EPA’s State and Local Climate and Energy Program website. The webcasts covered climate impacts and risk communication, adaptation planning and implementation, and federal resources and support for climate change adaptation.

***Preparing for Climate Change: A Guidebook for Local, Regional, and State Governments
This guidebook, published in 2007 by ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, presents a detailed, easy-to-understand process for climate change preparedness based on familiar resources and tools. ICLEI’s website also provides links to a number of other free adaptation resources.

***Georgetown Climate Center Adaptation Portal
The nonprofit Georgetown Climate Center has developed a clearinghouse of information on impacts and adaptation for state and local governments, including news and updates, a directory of resources and tools, and state and local adaptation stories. The Georgetown Climate Center has also developed an adaptation toolkit for sea-level rise and coastal land use.

***Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange (CAKE)
CAKE, a joint project of Island Press and EcoAdapt, aims to build a shared knowledge base for managing natural systems in the face of rapid climate change. The CAKE website provides a virtual library, case studies, a directory of people and organizations, and tools.

***NOAA’s Quarterly Climate Impacts and Outlook Reports for State and Local Governments
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and regional partners around the United States have teamed up to issue a series of quarterly Climate Impacts and Outlook reports aimed at assisting policymakers as they prepare for drought and other extreme weather events. The reportshighlight trends in temperature, precipitation, and climate in four regions of the country (Central Region, Southern Great Plains, the Eastern Region, and the Western Region). Maps of areas of significant fire potential and drought may help state and local officials in their planning efforts.

The reports are available on the U.S. Drought Portal, along with a number of other climate- and drought-related resources.

***Coastal Climate Adaptation Community of Practice for State and Local Governments
NOAA’s Coastal Climate Adaptation site is a community of practice for state and local officials in coastal areas of the United States. The site includes a searchable online database of adaptation action plans, policies, assessments, case studies, communication and outreach materials, and other resources posted by members, as well as basic climate change information.

***NOAA and EPA Report: Achieving Hazard-Resilient Coastal & Waterfront Smart Growth
Coauthored by EPA and NOAA, this Coastal and Waterfront Smart Growth Hazard Mitigation Roundtable Report presents ideas on research, tools, services, and approaches communities can use to integrate smart growth and hazard mitigation strategies on the coast. This report is part of the work conducted under a joint agreement between EPA and NOAA to help coastal communities become more environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable.

***Adapting to Urban Heat: A Tool Kit for Local Governments
In August 2012, the Georgetown Law Center released a toolkit to help local governments reduce the effects of increased heat on their communities and citizens. It provides an analytic tool for policy makers to consider a combination of four built-environment changes (cool roofs, green roofs, cool pavements, and urban forestry), providing criteria for selecting among these approaches. It also examines the roles that governments can play in pursuing these changes: shaping their own operations, mandating or providing incentives for private choices, and engaging in public education.

***UK Climate Impacts Program (UKCIP) Tools and Case Studies
UKCIP, based at the University of Oxford, UK, provides information, tools, case studies, news, and links to resources on climate change adaptation. While designed for users in the UK, many of its products and resources are applicable to the United States and other areas.

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