To avoid catastrophic climate impacts that threaten people and nature, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) calls for rapid global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions as well as urgent action to adapt to the climate impacts that can no longer be avoided. Change at that scale requires action at all levels of government, yet local governments in the U.S. often lack the capacity and technical knowledge necessary to do their part.
The federal government and the climate resilience field have long recognized that a nationwide system of climate support services is desperately needed, but it does not yet exist.
Climate Ready America is our answer. Read the details and structural framework here.
The concept is quite simple: create a climate services system that supports local governments by strengthening existing climate services within each state, connecting those resources, and filling in the gaps.
Our goal is to create an effective system of climate services so that all communities, no matter their location, wealth, or size, can access the help they need to build climate resilience – both reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate impacts.
We selected five states or statewide organizations to pilot Climate Innovation Centers. This pilot program will show proof of concept and provide support to determine how states with different circumstances can be served by the same system.
Rapid nationwide expansion of the Climate Ready America system involves immediately applying what is learned in this first pilot phase to the next round of pilots and then to building out to the remaining states (and possibly territories) over the next five years. The challenge of climate change requires this level of ambition.
We are no longer accepting proposals for the 2022 pilot program but are accepting Letters of Interest for the next round.
To receive periodic updates on, and invitations to be involved with, the development of Climate Ready America, sign up here
Climate Ready America will be built through partnerships. If you have resources or thoughts about collaborations that could help develop this system, please contact Kim Adams (email@example.com).
Our Geos Institute team has been working on this question of climate services since 2015 when we co-led an effort to create a Climate Adaptation Service Bureau. Unfortunately sidelined by anti-climate positions of the administration and Congress, that effort spawned the Climate Adaptation Registry and influenced the structure of our Climate Ready Communities assisted-do-it yourself planning model.
With the transition in 2020 of federal leadership to those who understand the threat and urgency of the climate crisis, we turned our attention back to developing climate services nationwide. Since late 2020, we have:
Sign up to stay updated on our initiatives and receive information you can use to build resilience in your community.
Additional information and resources for members of our 2022 Climate Innovation Center Pilot Program