On 6th October 2022, at the White House, the Biden-Harris Administration announced new actions by more than 20 agencies to support the Federal Government’s resilience to the worsening impacts of climate change. These actions are detailed in annual agency adaption progress reports and highlight an Administration-wide commitment to confronting the climate crisis by integrating climate readiness across every agency’s mission and programs.
Severe and frequent weather events, including droughts, extreme heat, wildfires, floods, and hurricanes, create mounting climate-related damages nationwide. Climate disasters impact millions of Americans each year when roads wash out, power goes down, homes and businesses burn, crop failures, and school floods. In 2021 alone, the United States faced 20 extreme weather and climate-related disaster events with losses exceeding $ 1 billion each-a increasing the price tag to more than $ 145 billion. The federal government’s employees, assets, and operations are exposed to these same impacts. With a footprint of over 300,000 buildings, over 600,000 vehicles, and responsibility for delivering critical goods and services, the Biden-Harris Administration is trying to minimize disruptions, creating safer working conditions, strengthening supply chains, saving taxpayer money and sustaining its mission.
President Biden charges agencies to revitalize Federal climate adaptation efforts through Executive Order 14008 on Tracking the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. Federal agencies released climate adaptation plans that identified and addressed their most significant climate risk. Through these plans, agencies-initiated actions to address a broad range of risks, including programs, facilities, worker safety, supply chains, grants and contracts. As part of this work, the White House also launched an effort to rebuild the Federal Government’s information resources and capacity to act on climate data. For example, in September 2022, the Administration launched a first-of-its-kind climate adaptation training for Federal program acquisition managers. The training provides a high-level overview of how to manage climate risks, including how climate change hazards may impact Federal programs and what steps they can take to prepare for these impacts. Training is tailored for a community of approximately 1,500 Federal program acquisition managers, over 250,000 Federal Acquisition Institute users can take the course.
In addition to shoring up Federal Government operations and programs, the Biden-Harris Administration continues to work with states, Tribes, and local governments in a coordinated effort to protect America’s communities, economies, and infrastructure from the most severe impacts of climate change. The administration worked with Congress to provide key adaptation investments supported by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, including $50 billion in investments to protect American infrastructure against catastrophic wildfires, heat and floods and $ 4.5 billion for drought preparedness.
The reports released on 6th October 2022 show significant progress made by agencies to bolster adaptation and increase resilience to climate impacts. The 2022 Climate Adaptation Progress Reports.