Today President Barack Obama issued an executive order entitled,?Preparing The United States For The Impacts Of Climate Change. The order calls for all agencies to modernize their programs to support climate change resilient investments, asks the heads of many major agencies to inventory and assess their policies, establishes an interagency council of over 30 departments and agencies, and a task force of state, local, and tribal governments.
It’s a bold statement and leaves few loopholes.
(Sec. 2)To support the efforts of regions, States, local communities, and tribes, all agencies, consistent with their missions and in coordination with the Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience (Council) established in section 6 of this order, shall:
(i) identify and seek to remove or reform barriers that discourage investments or other actions to increase the Nation’s resilience to climate change while ensuring continued protection of public health and the environment;
(ii) reform policies and Federal funding programs that may, perhaps unintentionally, increase the vulnerability of natural or built systems, economic sectors, natural resources, or communities to climate change related risks;
(iii) identify opportunities to support and encourage smarter, more climate-resilient investments by States, local communities, and tribes, including by providing incentives through agency guidance, grants, technical assistance, performance measures, safety considerations, and other programs
(Sec. 3)Within 9 months of the date of this order and in coordination with the efforts described in section 2 of this order, the heads of the Departments of Defense, the Interior, and Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, NOAA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers, and other agencies as recommended by the Council established in section 6 of this order shall work with the Chair of CEQ and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to complete an inventory and assessment of proposed and completed changes to their land- and water-related policies, programs, and regulations necessary to make the Nation’s watersheds, natural resources, and ecosystems, and the communities and economies that depend on them, more resilient in the face of a changing climate.
The order terminates the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force and replaces it with the?Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. The Deputy Secretary, or equivalent office of all Departments of the executive branch of the government and all major agencies, (NASA, EPA and Army Corps of Engineers), will serve on the Council.?It also establishes?State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, whose members will be elected officials invited by the co-chairs of the Council on Environmental Quality, previously established in?Executive Order 13514 of October 5, 2009.
Most of the order is to be implemented immediately, with the assessments completed within nine months and the Council, and Task Force meeting within a year.
Edited by SS