A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Thursday released proposed legislation aiming to help the country better prepare for climate change impacts including sea level rise and worsening extreme weather events.
The legislation would require the federal government to develop a “National Climate Adaptation and Resilience Strategy” that would assess the country’s vulnerabilities and make sure the government has a plan to respond to them.
It would also create a “Chief Resilience Officer” position in the White House to direct preparation efforts and lead the strategy’s development, as well as interagency groups dedicated to the issue and a council of non-federal partnerships from frontline communities.
The effort is spearheaded by Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Chris Coons (D-Del.), as well as Reps. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) and María E. Salazar (R-Fla.).
Coons, who co-chairs the Senate’s bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, said in a statement that the legislation “sets out commonsense first steps so that the federal government can deliver sustainable, resilient, and equitable climate solutions in Delaware, our country’s lowest lying state, as well as for Americans in frontline communities across the nation.”
It’s also backed by additional lawmakers from each party, including Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), and Bill Cassidy (R-La.), it’s still not clear whether it would be able to garner enough support on its own to surpass the Senate’s 60-vote threshold.
There is also the chance that it won’t stand alone and would instead be worked into larger packages.