Pennsylvania Climate Adaptation Planning Report: Risks and Practical Recommendations

The first multi-sector, statewide effort to identify practical strategies for addressing climate change impacts, this report includes the recommendations for climate change adaptation of four sector-specific working groups: Infrastructure, Public Health and Safety, Natural Resources, and Tourism and Outdoor Recreation.  It builds upon the 2010 report  “Weathering Climate Change: Framing Strategies to Minimize the Impacts on Pennsylvania Ecosystems and Wildlife."

Each sector working group had multiple focus areas or sub-sectors. For example, the Infrastructure working group analyzed transportation, energy, water, communications infrastructure, buildings, and land use. Each group also identified key risks and vulnerabilities and developed specific actions to address them. Their analysis is in the appendices.

Cross-cutting recommendations that were independent of the working groups or were recommended by multiple working groups are included. An example recommendation is to establish a climate adaptation team within the state government and  including adaptation in all future state Climate Action Plans, emphasizing this should include the public health response.

Pennsylvania Climate Change Act, Act 70 of 2008, authorized the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to prepare a report recommending mitigation actions that could be deployed to reduce the Commonwealth’s contribution of greenhouse gas emissions. Although not a requirement of Act 70 the DEP and the Climate Change Advisory Committee (CCAC) recognized the need to also address adaptation planning because climate impacts are already occurring and will continue to occur even with lower carbon levels. The most effective response to climate change for the commonwealth is a combined strategy of both mitigation and adaptation. During the Feb. 27, 2009 meeting of the CCAC, a motion was made and passed with unanimous support that the action plans should include a recommendation to the Governor and the Pennsylvania General Assembly to address adaptation. On March 18, 2010, a planning process to develop an adaptation report received the support of the CCAC.

The recommendations of this adaptation report will be incorporated into the next revision of the Action Plan.


Publication Date: 2011

Related Organizations:

  • Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Adaptation plan

States Affected:


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