Government agencies release climate resilience plans

Government agencies release climate resilience plans
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More than 20 federal agencies on Thursday released plans to improve the resilience of their facilities and operations against climate change. 

“Agencies face a multitude of risks caused by climate change, including rising costs to maintain and repair damaged infrastructure from more frequent and extreme weather events, challenges to program effectiveness and readiness, and health and safety risks to federal employees who work outside,” said a White House fact sheet. 

“By taking action now to better manage and mitigate climate risks, we will minimize disruptions to federal operations, assets and programs while creating safer working conditions for employees,” it continued. 

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The plans detail different steps being taken by different parts of the government. 

For example, the Transportation Department will add resilience criteria into some of its grant and loan programs. It will also consider how changing heat and air quality will impact disadvantaged communities when it is designing and choosing sites for projects. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will use a tool that provides real-time heat data to help states and localities prepare for extreme heat events. 

The plans also included ways to make government buildings more prepared for a changing climate.

The Defense Department will seek to use information on climate change hazards to military installations while the Justice Department will include resilience into its considerations for design and  construction, as well as future leases. 

Future deals with contractors could also be impacted, as the Energy Department has said it will look at ways to create climate adaptation requirements for contractors and suppliers.