Executive Order 13653 - Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change

Signed by President Obama on November 6, 2013, E.O. 13653 was enacted “in order to prepare the Nation for the impacts of climate change by undertaking actions to enhance climate preparedness and resilience.”

The E.O. outlines Federal agency responsibilities in the areas of supporting climate resilient investment; managing lands and waters for climate preparedness and resilience; providing information, data and tools for climate change preparedness and resilience; and planning.

This Order establishes an interagency Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience (Council).

Primarily, the Council is directed to:

  • “identify and seek to remove or reform barriers that discourage investments or other actions to increase the Nation’s resilience to climate change while ensuring continued protection of public health and the environment;
  • reform policies and Federal funding programs that may, perhaps unintentionally, increase the vulnerability of natural or built systems, economic sectors, natural resources, or communities to climate change related risks; and
  • identify opportunities to support and encourage smarter, more climate resilient investments by States, local communities, and tribes, including by providing incentives through agency guidance, grants, technical assistance, performance measures, safety considerations, and other programs, including in the context of infrastructure development…” 

The Council includes senior officials from at least 30 departments, agencies, and Executive Offices and will be co-chaired by the chair of CEQ, the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counter-terrorism. 

To inform Federal efforts to support climate preparedness and resilience, the EO establishes a State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience (Task Force).

The Task Force is required to:
(i) remove barriers, create incentives, and otherwise modernize Federal programs to encourage investments, practices, and partnerships that facilitate increased resilience to climate impacts, including those associated with extreme weather;

(ii) provide useful climate preparedness tools and actionable information for States, local communities, and tribes, including through interagency collaboration as described in section 6 of this order; and

(iii) otherwise support State, local, and tribal preparedness for and resilience to climate change.

Section 3, Managing Lands and Water for Climate Preparedness and Resilience, directs relevant agencies to work with the Executive Office of the President,

“to complete an inventory and assessment of proposed and completed changes to their land- and water-related policies, programs, and regulations necessary to make the Nation's watersheds, natural resources, and ecosystems, and the communities and economies that depend on them, more resilient in the face of a changing climate. … The assessment shall include a timeline and plan for making changes to policies, programs, and regulations.”

Section 4, Providing Information, Data, and Tools for Climate Change Preparedness and Resilience, directs relevant agencies, working together and with the support of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, “to develop and provide authoritative, easily accessible, usable, and timely data, information, and decision-support tools on climate preparedness and resilience.”

Section 5, Federal Agency Planning for Climate Change Related Risk, directs federal agencies to build on existing agency Adaptation Plans first issued in 2013, by continuing "to develop, implement, and update comprehensive plans that integrate consideration of climate change into agency operations and overall mission objectives."

This Order terminates The Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force, which was established in 2009 and created the framework for coordinated Federal action on climate preparedness and resilience.

“Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change” takes a step on implementing one of the three core components of Obama’s Climate Action Plan (Cut Carbon Pollution, Prepare the U.S. for the Impacts of Climate Change, and Lead International Efforts), which was issued in June 2013.


Publication Date: November 6, 2013

Related Organizations:

  • Executive Office of the President of the United States

Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Executive order

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