BPC Action Applauds Bipartisan, Bicameral National Climate Adaptation and Resilience Strategy Act in Energy and Environment, Housing, Infrastructure

BPC Action commends Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Reps. Scott Peters (D-CA) and María Salazar (R-FL) for working across party lines to introduce the National Climate Adaptation and Resilience Strategy (NCARS) Act. The bill would enhance the federal response to climate hazards by streamlining efforts across agencies for a unified strategy and establishing a Chief Resilience Officer in the White House. 

Climate hazards—such as floods, storms, and sea-level rise—increasingly threaten the health, safety, housing, and economic vitality of communities across the nation. Many federal agencies support state and local efforts to mitigate these threats and adapt, but federal policies and programs are too often siloed and unsynchronized, leading to inefficiencies and challenges for communities trying to access assistance.  

A whole-of-government approach, including improved interagency coordination, is necessary to maximize the impact of finite federal resources and make climate adaptation and resilience a top national priority. 

Specifically, this bill would require the development of a National Climate Adaptation and Resilience Strategy and Implementation Plan, to be updated every three years, accompanied by a GAO report to inform plan improvements and provide accountability. The bill would authorize $2 million annually to develop and implement this strategy. 

The Chief Resilience Officer would be responsible for leading the national strategic effort to address climate change vulnerabilities, similar to the position created by a number of states. The Chief Resilience Officer would also establish a series of working groups including federal agencies, state and local governments, NGOs, and the private sector to enhance communication and coordination of efforts on the ground.  

The NCARS Act reflects the priorities of BPC’s Disaster Response Reform Task Force and many of our Adaptation Working Group members to make federal climate disaster preparedness and response efforts more efficient and impactful.  

BPC Action looks forward to working with Congress to pass this sensible and necessary piece of legislation.