Here’s how U.S. government agencies are planning to adapt to climate change

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  • More than 20 federal agencies on Thursday unveiled climate change adaptation plans that reveal the biggest threats to global warming to their operations and facilities and how to handle them.
  • The plans, published by agencies including the Departments of Energy, Defense and Agriculture, come several months after President Joe Biden ordered a thorough government approach to tackling climate change.
  • A few weeks after taking office, the president gave agencies four months to outline their exposure to climate change risk and how to deal with it.

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More than 20 federal agencies on Thursday Unveiled Climate Change Adaptation Plan Which reveals the biggest threats of global warming to their operations and facilities and suggests how they can handle them.

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The plans, published by agencies including the Departments of Energy, Defense, Agriculture, Homeland Security and Transportation, come several months after President Joe Biden ordered a thorough government approach to tackling climate change.

A few weeks after taking office, the president gave agencies four months to outline their exposure to climate change risk and how to deal with it.

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Some of the main themes of the plans include:

  • protect workers from extreme heat events
  • Creating a supply chain that is more frequent and more resilient to extreme weather disasters
  • Assessing the effects of poor air quality and heat on low-income, minority communities
  • To better prepare government buildings for the changing seasons.

“Agencies face a number of risks due to climate change, including rising costs to maintain and repair infrastructure damaged by more frequent and extreme weather events, challenges to program effectiveness and readiness, and challenges for federal employees. health and safety risks for those who work outside,” according to a White House fact sheet.

“By taking action now to better manage and reduce climate risks, we will minimize disruption to federal operations, property and programs while creating safer working conditions for employees,” the fact sheet states.

The Centers for Disease Control, for example, has developed a tool To provide heat data paired with local vulnerability data for emergency and public health planners to protect people from worsening heat events, the White House said.

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The Energy Department said it would implement clear climate adaptation requirements for contractors and suppliers To employ advance research programs for climate adaptation and resilience practices as well as climate technologies in national laboratories.

Department of Defense wrote Climate change poses a threat to military operations and could create new sources of conflict around the world, including potential water shortages. The department has committed to using climate intelligence to inform military planners about where and how military installations are at risk.

transport Department wrote that climate change will make construction and commuting more difficult and dangerous, and vowed to advance the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the region and invest in more resilient infrastructure.

The Department of Transportation said it would also consider environmental justice by assessing the adverse impact of climate change on poor, minority communities when designing new projects.

And the Treasury Department said it would work to mitigate the effects of climate-related financial risks on financial stability. It is also developing a plan to better maintain its supply chains, including the materials needed for currency and coin production.

Earlier this year, Biden issued an executive order requiring the creation of the government’s comprehensive climate change risk strategy as well as an annual assessment of climate-related financial risks in the US budget.

The order was part of the administration’s commitment to halve household greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by the middle of the century.

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