RI Executive Climate Change Council Report - A Resilient Rhode Island: Being Practical About Climate Change

‘A Resilient Rhode Island: Being Practical about Climate Change’ was prepared pursuant to Governor Chafee’s Executive Order 14-01, issued in February 2014, which establishes an Executive Climate Change Council for Rhode Island. The Council’s report outlines key objectives and strategies to help the state prepare for the impacts of climate change.

The Executive Order instructed the Council to focus on how state agencies can coordinate their efforts and pool their resources, so as to:

  1. help improve understanding of the likely impacts of climate change;
  2. help avoid or reduce the impacts to the greatest extent possible through mitigation;
  3. help develop effective adaptation strategies and solutions, and help communities become more resilient; and
  4. foster and utilize partnerships, between agencies, with cities and towns, the federal government, the private sector and our academic institutions.

The report identifies eight broad goals and objectives, including having governmental organizations lead by example, identifying vulnerable areas of the state, increasing resiliency through mitigation and adaptation, and turning these efforts into opportunities for economic development. The report also focuses on what state government can do to improve coordination, collaboration and communication between state agencies, as well as the public and private sectors.

One of the over-arching goals of the plan is to “Increase Resilience through Adaptation.” Objectives are outlined within this goal, along with specific recommended actions to undertake. The adaptation objectives are to: 

1. Improve emergency/disaster preparedness, and incorporate climate change adaptation into response and recovery when feasible

2. Prioritize, develop and implement adaptation strategies and action plans for critical infrastructure such as drinking water, wastewater (including on-site wastewater) treatment, stormwater, waste management, transportation, energy, healthcare, education, housing, food supply, etc.,

3. Develop and implement adaptation strategies to address priority public health impacts

4. Develop and implement adaptation strategies to reduce economic impacts, increase resilience and help create new opportunities

5. Develop mechanisms by which municipalities can begin to adapt their land use patterns to better accommodate climate change impacts

6. Develop and implement adaptation strategies to reduce impacts to natural resources, protect and where possible improve ecosystem resilience, and adapt resource management policies and programs to changing trends and conditions

The EC3 includes representatives of several state agencies including the Department of Administration; Department of Transportation; Department of Health; Emergency Management Agency; Office of Energy Resources; Division of Planning; Rhode Island Commerce Corporation and Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC).

Publication Date: June 2014

Related Organizations:

  • State of Rhode Island


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Policy analysis/recommendations

States Affected:

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