Officials Deliver Resilience Recs to the President

ICLEI and the Resilient Communities for America partners commend the local, state, and tribal officials who participated in the President’s Task Force on a compelling vision for local-federal collaboration. Local leaders such as Mayor Frank Cownie of Des Moines and Supervisor Salud Carbajal of Santa Barbara County provided key insight as strategic members of the task force and Commissioner Kristin Jacobs of Broward County chaired the Task Force’s four subgroups.

Over the past year, the President’s Local, State, and Tribal Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience has been meeting to formulate recommendations for modernizing federal preparedness programs to better serve our communities. Their report, released today, represents a leap forward in understanding what is working and what can be improved upon in the nation’s efforts to build stronger communities and better quality of life in the face of climate impacts: Link to Recommendations to the President

ICLEI and our partners in the Resilient Communities for America campaign – National League of Cities, US Green Building Council, and World Wildlife Fund – are pleased that the report presents a comprehensive set of meaningful steps that federal agencies can take in partnership with local governments.

The report is very substantive, thanks to the tireless efforts of the Task Force members, their staff, and Administration officials, as well as the contributions of hundreds of other local officials over the past year. Seventy five percent of the local officials on the Task Force represent either ICLEI Members or RC4A Signatories, and several asked at the start how we could generate insights from the network to support their contribution. With our partners, we carried out the RC4A Federal Policy Initiative, which generated input from almost 100 local governments through workshops and an online survey. We presented the Federal Policy Initiative report to the Task Force and are pleased to see those ideas shining through in the final recommendations. Some of the highlights that were also prominent in the RC4A initiative include:

  • A call to build resilience considerations into a broad spectrum of federal programs and funding opportunities, especially hazard mitigation programs.
  • Specific reference to removing barriers to Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) and other forms of innovative financing.
  • Recognition of the need for green infrastructure and ecosystem-based adaptation.
  • Opportunities to facilitate regional approaches to climate resilience such as the San Diego Climate Collaborative and the Southeast Florida Climate Compact.

As the Task Force report notes, ongoing coordination and accountability will be required to turn these recommendations into reality. The RC4A partners look forward to continuing our policy engagement efforts with local officials as these recommendations move forward within the federal agencies. Once again, congratulations to the Task Force members on achieving such an impactful, meaningful outcome!