The initiative is designed to assist nine partner cities and counties in making effective policy and investment decisions that will increase their resilience to climate change and educate key audiences about their efforts. Through the initiative, local governments in Chicago, Los Angeles, King County (Washington State), Miami-Dade County (Florida), Milwaukee, Nassau County (New York), Phoenix, San Francisco, and Toronto will work to advance the climate policy discussion beyond mitigation and ensure that future infrastructure and land use decisions bolster their communities. To that end, the partners are examining projected climate impacts in 2050 and then working backward to identify necessary steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build resiliency at the local level.
King County, for example, recently released a climate plan (178 pages, PDF) that includes specific adaptation measures such as a water reclamation project designed to respond to the diminishing Cascades snow pack. The county also created a Flood Control Zone District and established a countywide fee to fund critical infrastructure in areas that are most vulnerable to increased fall and winter flooding.
"In the coming years and decades, climate change will become a key factor in infrastructure development and a host of planning and policy decisions," said CCAP president Ned Helme. "It is critical that private entities and governments at all levels start integrating adaptation considerations into their regular decision-making processes. The Urban Leaders Adaptation Initiative will equip CCAP's partners with the knowledge and tools to get started on implementing adaptation measures and provide a framework for policy issues that will enable the federal government to support local resiliency efforts."