Leadership on Climate Change Adaptation
Climate change presents many serious risks for government operations. Its impacts can not only damage facilities and equipment, but also disrupt communications networks and transportation routes needed to deliver supplies and services. Taking action now is essential to ensure the proper management of Federal investments today and tomorrow.
GSA is playing a leading role in making sure the Federal government is better prepared to cope with the consequences of climate change. It is integrating climate change adaptation strategies into risk-management programs to reduce property, infrastructure, and supply chain vulnerabilities.
Addressing those risks includes identifying mission-critical facilities, products, and services, evaluating business operations and supply chains that may be vulnerable, and anticipating needs that may arise from climate change.
Policy and Planning
GSA is in a unique position to facilitate not only an integrated national adaptation strategy, but also to coordinate Federal efforts with state and local officials. To ensure that GSA is building a robust capacity to manage risk from climate change, it has developed its own Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan. It commits GSA to planning throughout the agency, and identifies and prioritizes specific actions it will take to improve its adaptive capacity.
For 2013, GSA has prioritized the following five actions for implementation:
- Refine business processes GSA is integrating adaptation into its core business practices and guidance documents to recognize possible impacts on property and facilities.
- Train and plan GSA is training its account management staff, identifying mission-critical sites leased from GSA, and evaluating at-risk systems and assets.
- Expand regional pilot programs GSA is expanding already underway pilot programs in Regions 6 and 11 that work with stakeholders to identify local risks, sites, and supply chains.
- Assess the marketplace Working with other federal agencies, GSA is investigating offering climate change adaptation services by collecting information on the marketplace.
- Expand knowledge Working with other agencies and industry, GSA is continuing to gather information on climate science and adaptation approaches and applying what we learn to our programs.
This Action Plan was developed and issued pursuant to President Obama’s 2009 Executive Order 13514, Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance. GSA also actively participates in the Agency Adaptation Working Group, which is part of the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force.
The timing, scope, and severity of future climate change impacts are impossible to predict precisely, but we know changes we’re already seeing will have serious consequences. That’s why GSA is leading the way to ensure that we – and other Federal agencies – are prepared to meet this new challenge and continue to fulfill our missions.