EPA Policy Statement on Climate Change Adaptation

On June 30, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new Policy Statement on Climate Change Adaptation, building on the last policy statement released by the EPA in June 2011.

In the 2014 statement, the EPA recognizes that new and stronger evidence indicates that human-caused climate change is causing a wide range of impacts, and is affecting people in every region of the U.S. The EPA states that these impacts pose significant challenges to the ability to accomplish its own mission, and that it must adapt if it is to continue fulfilling its statutory, regulatory and programmatic requirements.

The EPA has developed initiatives to be taken in adapting to climate change, while updating the goals established three years ago. Seven specific adaptation directives are instated for immediate implementation.

The directives are to:

  • Modernize EPA financial assistance program to encourage climate-resilient investments
  • Provide information, tools, training, and technical support for climate change preparedness and resilience
  • Implement priority actions identified in EPA’s Climate Change Adaptation Plan and Implementation Plans
  • Focus on the most vulnerable people and places
  • Measure and evaluate performance of climate adaptation actions
  • Continue EPA planning for climate change-related risk
  • Coordinate with other federal agencies

President Obama’s Climate Action Plan and Executive Order 13653, “Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change,” were released in 2013, and both are referenced in the 2014 statement as evidence of the mounting importance of building a resilient domestic climate change strategy. Also in the 2014 statement, the EPA asks states, tribes, and local communities to join a global call to action – and that these partnerships are "critical for efficient, effective and equitable implementation of climate adaptation strategies.”

Publication Date: June 30, 2014

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