America’s Climate Choices: A Conversation on America’s Climate Choices

The report, 'A Conversation on America's Climate Choices,' is the final volume of the America’s Climate Choices suite of activities - a series of five studies requested by Congress. This report gives an overview of the nation’s options for responding to climate change impacts through broad adaptation strategies. The document offers advice on how to weigh the potential risks and benefits associated with different actions that might be taken to respond to climate change, and how to ensure that actions are as effective as possible.

The first three recommendations of the report relate to climate adaptation, and call for society at all levels to begin mobilizing for such adaptation. It also recommends the development of a national climate adaptation strategy and the creation of durable institutions to implement that strategy and improve it over time. Key elements of such a national plan would include:

  •  identifying key vulnerabilities to climate impacts, putting special near-term attention to strategies for vulnerable populations;
  • the provision of key resources (e.g., scenarios, visualization tools, methods, data) by the federal government to support vulnerability assessments;
  • ensuring federal programs, activities, and planning take climate change into account and that maladaptive policies and practices be identified and reformed; and
  • taking steps to ensure that the national adaptation strategy will be effectively implemented and kept current with new knowledge.

The report highlights the need for integration of adaptation considerations particularly into decisions with long time horizons, including those regarding siting of facilities, conserving natural areas, managing water resources, and developing coastal zones. It is also recommended that the U.S. government assist adaptive efforts in developing countries. 

This report is a part of the America's Climate Choices website, which provides videos, briefs and a complete report on several key issues related to climate change.  Resources include updated science and information on how to limit the magnitude of climate change, adapt to impacts and generate an effective response. For the water sector, additional resources address water resource management and the impacts of extreme precipitation events.





Publication Date: 2011

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  • Policy analysis/recommendations


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