As part of the Biden Administration’s whole-of-government approach to the climate crisis, both the USDA and EPA unveiled their plans for how they as agencies will prepare for and adapt to climate change.
USDA’s plan identifies five cross-cutting adaptation actions the agency will take:
- Build resilience across landscapes with investments in soil and forest health.
- Increase outreach and education to promote adoption and application of climate-smart adaptation strategies.
- Broaden access to and availability of climate data at regional and local scales for USDA Mission Areas, producers, land managers, and other stakeholders.
- Increase support for research and development of climate-smart practices and technologies to inform USDA and help producers and land managers adapt to a changing climate.
- Leverage the USDA Climate Hubs as a framework to support USDA Mission Areas in delivering adaptation science, technology, and tools.
“Integrating climate change into USDA’s planning and decision making is critical to ensuring that America’s producers, who are on the front lines of climate change, are positioned to be successful in the long term,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “This Adaptation Plan lays out the framework for USDA to carry out sustained climate adaptation that addresses current and emerging climate risks and challenges.”
In announcing EPA’s plan, Administrator Regan wrote he has directed all EPA offices to:
- Integrate climate adaptation planning into EPA programs, policies and rulemaking processes;
- Consult and partner with states, tribes, territories, local governments, environmental justice organizations, community groups, businesses and other federal agencies to strengthen adaptive capacity and increase the resilience of the nation, with a particular focus on advancing environmental justice;
- Implement measures to protect the agency’s workforce, facilities, critical infrastructure, supply chains and procurement processes from the risks posed by climate change; and,
- Modernize EPA financial assistance programs to encourage climate-resilient investments across the nation.