By ASA-CW April 25, 2013
On October 5, 2009, President Obama signed Executive Order 13514, which set sustainability goals for Federal agency operations and directed agencies to improve their environmental, energy and economic performance. Under this Executive Order, each Federal agency is evaluating agency climate change risks and vulnerabilities to manage both the short- and long-term effects of climate change on the agency's mission, programs, and operations.
On March 4, 2011, CEQ issued a set of Implementing Instructions for Federal Agency Adaptation Planning. The Instructions informed agencies on how to integrate climate change adaptation into their planning, operations, policies, and programs, as recommended by the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force in its October 2010 Progress Report to the President.
The Task Force's work has been guided by a strategic vision of a resilient, healthy, and prosperous Nation in the face of a changing climate. To achieve this vision, the Task Force identified a set of guiding principles that public and private decision-makers should consider in designing and implementing adaptation strategies. They include (but are not limited to) the following:
•Adopt Integrated Approaches: Adaptation should be incorporated into core policies, planning, practices, and programs whenever possible.
•Prioritize the Most Vulnerable: Adaptation strategies should help people, places, and infrastructure that are most vulnerable to climate impacts and be designed and implemented with meaningful involvement from all parts of society.
•Use Best-Available Science: Adaptation should be grounded in the best-available scientific understanding of climate change risks, impacts, and vulnerabilities.
•Apply Risk-Management Methods and Tools: Adaptation planning should incorporate risk-management methods and tools to help identify, assess, and prioritize options to reduce vulnerability to potential environmental, social, and economic implications of climate change.
•Apply Ecosystem-based Approaches: Adaptation should, where appropriate, take into account strategies to increase ecosystem resilience and protect critical ecosystem services on which humans depend, to reduce vulnerability of human and natural systems to climate change.