International efforts represent recognition that climate change is increasing the risk for extreme weather events
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Extreme weather events during the past year has spurred increasing discussions about a possible link between global climate change tornado outbreaks and flooding, for example.
Most climate researchers agree that climate doesn’t directly cause any single weather event, but that global warming can increase the odds of events like last year’s catastrophic Russian heat wave, or extreme droughts in the southwestern U.S.
At the highest levels of many governments, talk is less about whether there is a link and more focused on how to manage the consequences and adapt to those increased risks.
That focus will culminate next week, when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change releases a special report on managing the risks of extreme events and disasters and to advance adaptive measures.
The report builds on the 2007 global assessment by reviewing the frameworks and tools used by institutions, organizations and communities to build strategies for reducing vulnerability and risk.
The report represents an international recognition of the fact that a changing climate is increasing our exposure to extreme weather events. But by managing risk and boosting preparedness, we can increase our resiliency to potentially devastating events. The Obama Administration is already working to increase climate resiliency throughout the U.S.; an update can be found in the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force Progress Report, released on October 28, 2011.
According to the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality, climate change is already affecting communities, livelihoods, and the environment across the United States and around the world. In 2009, the Obama Administration convened the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force, co-chaired by the Council on Environmental Quality, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The task force includes representatives from more than 20 Federal agencies.
On October 5, 2009, President Obama signed an Executive Order directing the Task Force to develop a report with recommendations for how the Federal Government can strengthen policies and programs to better prepare the nation to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Read more about the U.S. efforts to adapt at this CEQ website.
An interim report released in 2010 makes several key recommendations, including:
On March 16, 2010, the Task Force released an Interim Progress Report, which recommended key components to include in a national strategy on climate change adaptation. In October 2010, the Task Force articulated a set of policy goals and recommendations in its Progress Report to the President, including:
- Make adaptation a standard part of Agency planning to ensure that resources are invested wisely and services and operations remain effective in a changing climate.
- Ensure scientific information about the impacts of climate change is easily accessible so public and private sector decision-makers can build adaptive capacity into their plans and activities.
- Align Federal efforts to respond to climate impacts that cut across jurisdictions and missions, such as those that threaten water resources, public health, oceans and coasts, and communities.
- Develop a U.S. strategy to support international adaptation that leverages resources across the Federal Government to help developing countries reduce their vulnerability to climate change through programs that are consistent with the core principles and objectives of the President’s new Global Development Policy.
- Build strong partnerships to support local, state, and tribal decision makers in improving management of places and infrastructure most likely to be affected by climate change.
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, Summit County news Tagged: | adapting to climate change, climate change, Council on Environmental Quality, Environment, extreme weather, global warming, IPCC, Summit County News, United States