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Geos Institute helps communities build resilience in the face of climate change

Some great news and some almost great news

From the August 2022 Cornerstone Network Email

The great news: As you no doubt saw, Congress last week passed legislation that included the largest investment in climate change to date. In a move not unlike nabbing Al Capone on tax evasion charges, the title of this bill doesn’t address climate change. While it is officially called the Inflation Reduction Act, given what is in it, we might expect it to be called the American Climate Action Act. But names don’t matter. What does matter is what is in it – investments that put the US on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030. While still shy of the call to action by the International Panel on Climate Change, this target is a very good start.

As you know, here at the Geos Institute, we have been working to develop Climate Ready America – a system of 50 state level Climate Innovation Centers that help communities reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build climate resilience. We believe that funding from this bill can help get these Centers up and running so that the investments in this bill can reach the people who need them most. We are working with several congressional offices to get funding for Climate Ready America into the implementation phase of the bill and will keep you posted.  

Now, for the almost great news. Last fall, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration posted a call for proposals to help them develop the Climate Smart Communities Initiative (CSCI), which would provide direct climate resilience support to 300 communities across the US over four years. It was particularly exciting because CSCI aligns very well with our Climate Ready America work and could help move that effort forward as well.  

We swung into action, called a team together from the climate resilience field, and submitted our proposal last fall. In March of this year, we were informed that our team’s proposal had been selected for funding and that work would begin this fall! You might remember that I hinted at a big announcement earlier this spring. Well, this was it.  

Unfortunately, in the congressional scrambling to reconcile the budget and get it passed to provide Ukrainian aid, the funding for the CSCI project disappeared. Efforts are underway to get CSCI funded in the upcoming federal budget so that we can hopefully begin that work in early 2023.  

In the meantime, we will take the win that has shown itself in the Inflation Reduction Act. It’s a good day for our country and the climate. A very good day indeed.  

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