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President Obama announces Task Force to prepare communities for extreme weather and climate change

Date
03 November 2013
President Obama announces Task Force to prepare communities for extreme weather and climate change

NEW YORK: US President Obama has established a Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience to help American communities adapt to the impacts of climate change

The Task Force, which is made up of America's state and local leaders, will advise the Administration on how the Federal Government should help communities in the US to deal with the impacts of climate change. 

President Obama signed an Executive Order that instructs Federal agencies on ways to strengthen communities' resilience to extreme weather and prepare for the other impacts of climate change. The Order includes:

  • Find ways to make it easier for cities and towns to become smarter and stronger and remove barriers to resilience-focused actions and investments.
  • Manage lands and waters for climate preparedness and resilience.
  • Provide scientific data and insights to help communities and businesses better understand and manage the risks associated with extreme weather and other impacts of climate change, including through an easy-to-use online portal featuring extensive Federal climate data.
  • Build on the first-ever set of Federal agency adaptation plans released earlier this year to develop and implement strategies to evaluate and address their most significant climate change related risks.

John P. Holdren, President Obama’s science adviser, commented: “All of that is now going to be shaped by the awareness of climate change, and the things that can be done to make those investments produce a much more resilient society.” 

Nancy Sutley, head of a White House environmental council, said: “We really do need to hear directly from the communities and from those who are sort of on the front lines of dealing with the impacts of climate change.”

The news has been widely welcomed in America where last week marked one year since Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast, although some experts have pointed out that the adaptation commitments should not unermine America's responsbility to urgently cut its greenhouse gas emissions adequately, especially ahead of a proposed 2015 global climate deal.

Showing further collaboration from sub-national government, last week North American governors representing 53 million people agreed to join forces on climate change by signing an accord to put a price on carbon emissions and steam ahead with clean energy adoption. Evan Juska, Head of US Policy, The Climate Group, commented: “The important thing is that, where the political will exists, states are indeed moving ahead.”

Read the White House's Executive Order fact sheet

Related news:

Obama's Hurricane Sandy Taskforce releases plan for rebuilding America's resiliency

North American governors representing 53 million people agree to account for the cost of carbon

Todd Stern: 2015 climate deal must be flexible, ambitious, durable

US EPA sets pioneering curbs on power plant pollution

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