News | June 20, 2024

EPA Publishes Its 2024-2027 Climate Adaptation Plan

Today, June 20, 2024, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its 2024-2027 Climate Adaptation Plan, which describes agency actions to address the impacts of climate change and help build a more climate-resilient nation. The plan expands the agency’s efforts to ensure its programs, facilities, workforce and operations are increasingly resilient to climate change impacts. EPA plays a central role in the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to tackle the climate crisis and build a climate-resilient nation.

The plan builds on work initiated in the 2014 and 2021 EPA Climate Adaptation Plans to incorporate climate adaptation into the agency’s programs, policies, rules, enforcement activities and operations. EPA has already made significant strides partnering with other federal agencies, states, Tribes, territories and local governments to promote climate resilience across the nation, placing a particular focus on advancing environmental justice. Nevertheless, more needs to be done given the magnitude of this global challenge.

“We’re already seeing the devastating impacts of climate change in our daily lives, such as more frequent and intense weather events,” said Vicki Arroyo, EPA Associate Administrator for Policy. “The publication of EPA’s 2024-2027 Climate Adaptation Plan supports our continuing efforts to prepare for these impacts, build resilience, and support climate-smart solutions and investments that work for communities across the country.”

“We are strengthening EPA’s ability to adapt, and building a more climate-informed workforce,” said Kimberly Patrick, EPA Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for Mission Support. “The plan lays out our roadmap for the next four years to reinforce our facilities, critical infrastructure, supply chains and procurement processes to withstand potential risks posed by climate change – above all, to safeguard our workforce so that they can continue to carry out our mission of protecting human health and the environment.”

Highlights from EPA’s 2024-2027 Climate Adaptation Plan are included below.

Fostering a Climate-Ready Workforce – EPA is building a climate-literate workforce through ongoing education and training and to ensure staff are equipped with an understanding of projected climate impacts, the vulnerability of EPA programs to these impacts, and adaptation approaches. One example is the agency-wide Climate Conversations webinar series helping to build a community of practice and encourage peer-to-peer sharing of experiences.

Building Facility Resilience – EPA is continuing to conduct facility resiliency assessments to identify vulnerabilities to the impacts of climate change and make recommendations to increase facility resilience.

Developing Climate-Resilient Supply Chains – EPA has included an assessment of climate hazard risk as part of its overall Agency Supply Chain Risk Management plan. The agency plans to conduct supply chain risk assessments under the Program Management Improvement Accountability Act and Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act in fiscal year 2024.

Integrating Climate Resilience into External Funding Opportunities – EPA is modernizing its financial assistance programs to encourage investments by communities and Tribes that are more resilient in an era of climate change. To support this effort, EPA launched an internal Climate-Resilient Investments Clearinghouse website to help managers of financial assistance programs incorporate climate adaptation and resilience considerations in the investment decisions EPA makes each day.

Applying Climate Data and Tools to Decision Making – EPA is equipping communities and the recipients of financial resources with the tools, data, information and technical support they need to assess their climate risks and develop the climate-resilience solutions most appropriate for them.

Integrating Climate Adaptation into Rulemaking Processes – EPA is integrating climate adaptation into its rulemaking processes where appropriate and in keeping with our statutory authorities to ensure they are effective even as the climate changes. For example, on March 14, 2024, EPA finalized a rule requiring a broad array of facilities that manage hazardous materials to develop response plans to prepare for the largest foreseeable discharges in adverse weather conditions, including more extreme weather conditions expected as the climate changes. EPA is also committed to applying climate change and environmental justice policy principles through National Environmental Policy Act reviews.

In March 2024, EPA launched a new Office of Climate Adaptation and Sustainability that will support efforts to build resilience to climate change and promote sustainability in support of the agency’s mission and its partnerships. Find EPA’s 2024-2027 Climate Adaptation Plan on our climate adaptation website.

President Biden directed federal agencies to meet the challenge of the climate crisis in a way that protects federal investments, grows good jobs and industries and makes the nation more economically competitive. That includes making federal agencies and programs more resilient to the climate crisis.

“As communities face extreme heat, natural disasters and severe weather from the impacts of climate change, President Biden is delivering record resources to build climate resilience across the country,” said Brenda Mallory, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “Through his Investing in America agenda and an all-of-government approach to tackling the climate crisis, the Biden-Harris Administration is delivering more than $50B to help communities increase their resilience and bolster protections for those who need it most. By updating our own adaptation strategies, the federal government is leading by example to build a more resilient future for all.”

Federal agencies have been making steady progress on efforts to build adaptive capacity and resilience across federal operations. Today’s publication of EPA’s 2024-2027 Climate Adaptation Plan is part of a coordinated release of more than twenty federal agencies’ climate adaptation plans. These plans highlight efforts across the federal government to ensure federal facilities, employees, resources and operations are increasingly resilient to climate change impacts.

Each agency’s plan aligns with adaptation and resilience requirements in section 211 of Executive Order 14008: Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, section 5(d) of EO 14030: Climate-Related Financial Risk, and section 503 of EO 14057: Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability. The plans also demonstrate how agencies are contributing to the objectives and opportunities for action identified in the Biden-Harris Administration’s National Climate Resilience Framework and incorporating natural hazards and climate resilience into real property asset management and investment decisions (per the Disaster Recovery Planning Act and Memorandum for Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies M-24-03).

All plans from each of the agencies and more information are available at the Federal Sustainability Plan website.

Source: US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)