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A Resilient Future for Coastal Communities: Federal Policy Recommendations from Solutions in Practice

October 2020

The Energy and Environmental Study Institute’s (EESI) October 2020 report contains 30 actionable recommendations, guided by 6 principles, on how the federal government can better support coastal resilience. The report emphasizes throughout the importance of consultation with local communities in designing programs and policies related to adaptation and resilience to ensure their specific needs are met. It also describes how the policy recommendations can be implemented, including identifying Congressional Committees with relevant jurisdiction.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Connecticut Microgrid and Resilience Grant and Loan Pilot Program

September 2020

In September 2020, the Connecticut legislature passed the Microgrid and Resilience Grant and Loan Pilot Program (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 16-243y). The act expands the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s authority to fund resilience projects, in addition to microgrids. The act supports the creation of climate change resilience projects in Connecticut.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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South Carolina Disaster Relief and Resilience Act

September 29, 2020

In September 2020, the South Carolina legislature passed the Disaster Relief and Resilience Act ("the act," S. B. 259, codified at S. C. Code Ann. §§ 48-62-10, 48-62-310, 6-29-510(D)) to increase the state's resilience to natural disaster and flooding events. The act establishes the position of Chief Resilience Officer and the South Carolina Office of Resilience to coordinate disaster recovery and resilience efforts within the state, creates the Disaster Relief and Resilience Reserve Fund to finance disaster recovery efforts and hazard mitigation projects, and creates the Resilience Revolving Fund to provide low-interest loans to local governments to perform floodplain buyouts and restoration.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Adaptokc: Adapting for a Healthy Future - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

July 2020

Adaptokc, the first sustainability plan for Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was adopted by the city’s Planning Commission and City Council in summer 2020. Adaptokc aims to strengthen Oklahoma City communities in the face of economic, social, and environmental challenges -- including climate change. The plan is divided up into four main sections: energy productivity, natural and built environment, air quality, and waste reduction. Among the initiatives proposed in the plan are increased energy efficiency and renewable energy use, mitigation of heat through development requirements, reduced transportation emissions, reduced waste generation, and strengthening of infrastructure against extreme weather.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Vermont Global Warming Solutions Act

In September 2020, the Vermont State Legislature passed the Vermont Global Warming Solutions Act (H.688), which requires the state to pursue climate solutions that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and support environmental and economic resilience. Specifically, the act transforms Vermont's existing GHG emission reduction goals into legal requirements and orders the development of the state’s first Climate Action Plan to identify strategies to reduce state GHG emissions, build healthy and resilient communities, and adapt to Vermont's already-changing climate. Notably, the act includes a provision that allows private citizens to bring a lawsuit against the state government upon the state's failure to adopt or update any rules necessary to implement the Climate Action Plan, including for failure to promulgate rules necessary to implement adaptation or resilience actions, in order to require the state to comply with the act. The act also has a noteworthy focus on equity and ensuring that resilience building programs are accessible to rural, low-income, and marginalized communities. 

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Community Land Trust Brussels, Belgium

December 7, 2020

The Brussels Community Land Trust (CLTB) focuses on providing affordable housing for the most at-risk populations in the capital region of Belgium, such as low-income workers, immigrants, single mothers, seniors and people with disabilities. CLTB focuses on developing multi-family apartment buildings; it has constructed three projects with 48 units and has seven other projects under construction or study that would deliver more than 120 units. It is building highly energy efficient “net zero” housing developments that conform to sustainability requirements established by the Brussels-Capital Region. Several CLTB projects are also incorporating other green design features, such as green roofs, public gardens, and other community spaces to enhance both the environmental and social benefits of the project. It is exploring opportunities to build local energy cooperatives, to leverage incentives to build housing powered by renewable energy sources, and to shift development patterns to enhance access to transit and shift mobility patterns to emphasize biking and walking. CLTB is also working to develop “social economy hubs” in its projects to provide business incubation opportunities for the neighborhood and to support local job creation. For example, one of their development sites had old warehouses and rather than tear those buildings down immediately, CLTB worked with residents to organize temporary uses on the site including pop-up restaurants, cooking classes, and incubation of a catering business.

Author or Affiliated User: Jessica Grannis

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Bristol Community Land Trust, United Kingdom

December 6, 2020

The Bristol Community Land Trust (Bristol CLT) operating in the City of Bristol, in the United Kingdom, presents an example of a CLT that is benefiting from low-cost transfer of city-owned surplus land and delivering sustainable, resilient, affordable housing options for lower-income residents. Bristol CLT is building shared-equity and affordable rental units that meet the highest standards of energy efficiency and incorporate renewable energy with back-up batteries, air-source heat pumps, shared green space, “car share,” and other environmental and social amenities. The city adopted a policy in 2020 that will help the CLT develop affordable housing by recognizing the social, environmental, and economic benefits delivered by a project as part of the “consideration” it receives in exchange for the transfer of the land. This policy will better enable Bristol CLT to access low-cost land by rewarding the unique values of CLT-housing, including engaging residents, building social cohesion, and delivering permanently affordable housing. It also demonstrates how cities can change policies related to how they dispose of surplus lands to facilitate transfers to community-led organizations that will redevelop these properties for publicly beneficial uses, like affordable housing.

Author or Affiliated User: Jessica Grannis

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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FEMA Guides to Expanding Mitigation

September 2020

FEMA’s Guides to Expanding Mitigation are part of a series designed to highlight how emerging partnerships connecting communities to public and private actors in key sectors can support more effective hazard mitigation projects and planning. The guides cover a range of sectors and topics, including equity, transportation, electric power, municipal financing, public health, agriculture, and arts and culture. This project supports FEMA’s goal of building a culture of preparedness as part of the agency’s strategic plan.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Building a Just Climate Future for North Carolina

September 2020

Developed by the Center for American Progress, the report Building a Just Climate Future for North Carolina (report) provides state leadership in North Carolina with strategies to address the pressing public health and safety threats that stem from climate change. The authors recommend six actions for policymakers to take that -- alongside actions laid out in the state’s executive order (EO) 80 and EO 143, the state’s Clean Energy Plan, and Climate Risk Assessment and Resilience Plan -- they argue will help the state address climate change while advancing conomic, racial, and environmental justice.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Cathleen Kelly, Rita Cliffton

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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City of Evanston, Illinois Resolution to Support Environmental Justice

September 2020

The City Council of Evanston, Illinois adopted a resolution that acknowledges the harm that communities of color have experienced due to environmental injustices, and pledges to support environmental justice through initiatives such as creating a public engagement policy, incorporating environmental justice into City ordinances, policies, and processes, and developing a geographic information system (GIS) inventory of environmental justice areas in Evanston. By addressing the disproportionate impact that the climate crisis has on communities of color, the City of Evanston aims to foster a stronger and more climate resilient city.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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