FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
8 Leading Cities and Counties Commit to Prepare for Climate Change Impacts by Participating in Nation’s First Adaptation Program
Boston, Grand Rapids, Miami-Dade County, Tucson, 4 others will develop strategies to protect assets and infrastructure, keep community members safe through ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA’s new Climate Resilient Communities ProgramNov 17, 2010
(Washington, D.C., Nov. 18, 2010)—Eight cities and counties announced a new commitment to protecting their communities from unavoidable climate change impacts, by being the first to participate in Climate Resilient Communities™ (CRC), the nation’s first comprehensive climate adaptation program for local governments, developed by ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA and launched this week.
The following cities and counties (plus one development district) will receive cutting-edge online tools, technical support, and other resources from ICLEI to accelerate their efforts to prepare for climate impacts that already affect their regions:
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Cambridge, Massachusetts
- Flagstaff, Arizona
- Grand Rapids, Michigan
- Lee County, Florida
- Miami-Dade County, Florida
- San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC)
- Tucson, Arizona
Unavoidable Climate Impacts
Each community faces serious climate impacts that cannot be ignored. Following the hottest decade on record, global average temperatures are projected to rise an estimated 4 to 11 degrees F over the next century, bringing more than scorching days to local communities.
For example, Miami-Dade County must contend with more frequent severe storms, more frequent floods from rising sea levels, and saltwater intrusion into drinking water aquifers—all occurring already. Grand Rapids faces more frequent extreme heat waves, increased air pollution, more massive snow storms that damage infrastructure and burden city services, as well as economic impacts due to changes in the Great Lakes that affect shipping and commerce. (To view climate impacts for all eight communities, download the media toolkit.)
Protecting People, Property, Resources
“Local governments have a responsibility to protect people, property, and natural resources, and these leading communities wisely recognize that climate change is happening now, and that they must begin planning for impacts that will only become more severe in the coming decades,” said Martin Chávez, ICLEI USA Executive Director and former three-term mayor of Albuquerque, New Mexico. “For more than five years, local governments have expressed an urgent need for resources and guidance to help them prepare their communities for climate impacts, and ICLEI USA is proud to finally release these groundbreaking resources.”
The First Standardized Adaptation Planning Process
The Climate Resilient Communities Program™ establishes the first standardized adaptation planning process for communities. CRC provides local governments with a wealth of resources and trainings to undertake this process, including the advanced Adaptation and Database Planning Tool (ADAPT). ADAPT walks users through the process of assessing community vulnerabilities, setting resiliency goals, and developing effective strategies that integrate into existing local planning efforts. These wide-ranging strategies may include strengthening infrastructure, diversifying water supplies, and planting more vegetation to counteract the urban heat island effect.
All of ICLEI USA’s 600 U.S. local government members will receive access to CRC resources, but the eight “Inaugural Adaptation Communities” will receive additional technical support.
To learn more CRC and how communities can respond to climate impacts, or to view U.S. climate impacts by region, visit www.icleiusa.org/adaptation.
To download a media toolkit with fact sheets on CRC and a list of climate impacts faced by the eight Inaugural Communities, go to http://www.icleiusa.org/library/documents/ICLEI%20Adaptation%20Media%20Toolkit.zip.
About ICLEI USA
ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA is the leading nonprofit membership organization of local governments committed to climate protection, clean energy, and sustainability. ICLEI USA is the only organization that provides all of the tools, resources, and technical guidance to help cities and counties achieve their goals. Learn more at www.icleiusa.org.