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Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation
In 2008, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) Board adopted the National Capital Region (NCR) Climate Change Report, which established regional greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals and identified over 100 actions, including adaptation measures. A key focus of COG’s adaptation initiatives has been to build the capacity of regional leaders to understand and address the unavoidable impacts of climate change. In order to help facilitate COG’s initiatives, COG applied for and received technical assistance through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Smart Growth Implementation Assistance Program (EPA SGIA). EPA published Using Smart Growth Strategies to Create More Resilient Communities in the Washington, D.C., Region, a guidebook that provides an overview of general climate adaptation approaches that pulls most of its case studies from the NCR. In addition, COG staff has written a report that is a synopsis of lessons learned during the project called Summary of Potential Climate Change Impacts, Vulnerabilities, and Adaptation Strategies in the Metropolitan Washington Region.
Through this process of working with EPA COG has been able to engage, educate, and train hundreds of leaders across the region on climate adaptation. As part of the project, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) came to COG in March 2011 to train local officials on how to conduct a vulnerability assessment in their communities. In September 2011, COG held stakeholder meetings for each of the four key sectors addressed during the project, including buildings, land use, transportation and water sectors. National and local best practices were presented, climate impacts and vulnerabilities were reviewed and information was gathered from stakeholders to help with the development of the guidebook. The draft guidebook was discussed at a stakeholder meeting in March 2012. Stakeholders expressed interest in more detailed information on climate impacts and implications for local decision-makers. Therefore, COG held a Climate Impacts Symposium on May 21, 2012. Materials from these events are below.
To further investigate climate change impacts in the water sector and in response to Hurricane Sandy and Derecho, COG held an Extreme Weather Events Workshop in December 2012.
In fall 2013 and winter 2014, COG is working with General Services Administration, NASA, National Capital Planning Commission, and Smithsonian Institution to contribute resources towards a shared regional response to climate adaptation through a workshop and webinar series called Building a Climate Resilient National Capital Region.
For more information, contact Maia Davis.
May 21, 2012: Climate Impacts Symposium
March 15, 2012: Draft Guidebook Presentation
September 2011: Sector Stakeholder Meetings
March 3, 2011: NOAA Roadmap for Adapting to Coastal Risk Training
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