The Friday Report

State and Local Support for the National Climate Adaptation and Resilience Strategy Act

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There is an urgent need for action at all levels of government to improve our nation’s resilience to the growing frequency, intensity, and cost of flooding and other extreme weather events. The magnitude of the problem is underscored by disaster costs increasing by an average of more than $225 billion each decade since 1980. The impacts are felt by every state and territory, destroying lives and livelihoods in urban and rural areas along the coast and inland. While no community is immune, marginalized and less-resourced populations bear the brunt of these impacts and are least able to prepare and recover.

Following last year’s historic investments in resilience planning and projects with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, it is critical that we break down the federal government’s siloed approaches to disaster preparedness, which often create inefficiencies and challenges for state and local partners. A collaborative national resilience strategy between federal, state and local governments is needed to better steward taxpayer dollars and better protect communities from the dangers of flooding and other disasters.

The bipartisan National Climate Adaptation and Resilience Strategy Act can help fill the nation’s resilience gaps by:

  • Creating a Chief Resilience Officer within the White House to improve the coordination of federal resilience initiatives.
  • Developing a national resilience strategy that better streamlines federal support, leads with science, puts nature to work, and addresses historical inequities.
  • Taking stock of federal barriers to enhancing climate resilience and identifying solutions to address them.
  • Equipping local leaders with the resources, data, and tools necessary to successfully plan for future risk.

The bill creates a first-ever chief resilience officer position within the White House. Just as the growing number of states that have appointed chief resilience officers, establishing dedicated federal leadership will ensure that resilience efforts are integrated and fiscally aligned across all agencies and departments.

The bill will produce a national resilience strategy that unifies federal efforts across agencies. The strategy will develop long-term plans that factor in climate threats and will create federal working groups to identify agency inefficiencies and coordinate resilience goals. The strategy will include financial incentives to promote local and state adaptation efforts, improve infrastructure resilience and prioritize the use of nature-based solutions.

The bill promotes equity and efficiency. The chief resilience officer will lead efforts to regularly track and report out on federal resilience efforts, available resources for local partners, and opportunities to effectively and equitably distribute funding.

The bill gives a diverse set of stakeholders a seat at the table in developing the national resilience strategy. This bill will create a Partners Council on Climate Adaptation and Resilience to account for the values and needs of state, local, Tribal, and territorial governments, and NGOs as well as the private sector. The council will identify federal actions that address inequities, streamline support for communities and states, enhance technical assistance, increase local capacity and better support the on-the-ground needs of those most under-resourced and at-risk.


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