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Science for Climate Action Network Launch Helps Communities Establish Climate Action Pathways

April 10, 2019

On April 4, 2019, the Independent Advisory Committee for Applied Climate Assessment (IAC) released its recommendations. These recommendations represent a year-long process from the IAC, funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and the Earth Institute at Columbia University.  

State, local and tribal governments have a new science-based resource to tackle climate challenges with the release of the report, Evaluating Knowledge to Support Climate Action, and the launch of the Science for Climate Action Network.  The report, published in Weather, Climate and Society and summarized in the Bulletin of the AMS, was authored by nearly forty science and local government experts, including Van Ness Feldman partner, Terese (T.C.) Richmond, who  served on the Independent Advisory Committee for Applied Climate Assessment and previously served on the federal advisory committee that authored the Third National Climate Assessment.

The Evaluating Knowledge to Support Climate Action report is based on ideas and inputs from state, local, and tribal officials, researchers in all areas of climate science, experts in non-governmental and community-based organizations, professionals in engineering, architecture, public health, adaptation, and other areas.

The intent is to help decision-makers use science in the U.S. National Climate Assessments and other sources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adjust to unavoidable climate impacts.  With climate change intensifying, communities are working on solutions, but as the report highlights, new types of support are needed, including science that is more accessible, trusted, and relevant to local challenges.  The report recommends a new framework that applies climate reports like the U.S. National Climate Assessment in a sustained, user-oriented process instead of a one-off release.   This new approach will make it easier to develop science-based pathways to address climate threats to local economic growth, infrastructure, and public health.

Building on a key recommendation of the report to integrate climate science in routine decision making such as capital improvement planning and zoning, the Science for Climate Action Network (SCAN) is being launched to provide guidance on a range of technical issues including bond ratings and infrastructure design.  The SCAN will provide a networking framework for teams of scientists, climate experts, and state and local officials to identify best practices, to work with the latest science and technology, to collect missing data on impacts, and to focus on providing resources to governments and other organizations to help limit warming and adapt to the changes that are already occurring.

For more information

For more information about the Evaluating Knowledge to Support Climate Actionreport and the launch of the SCAN please contact Terese (T.C.) Richmond ter@vnf.com.

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