Date Published: August 2nd
The Pew Charitable Trusts and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce—together with planners, engineers, developers, and leaders from business associations, local government institutions, the insurance industry, fiscal conservative organizations, the nonprofit sector, and others—sent a letter on Aug. 2 to leadership of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Senate Armed Services Committee in support of the National Climate Adaptation and Resilience Strategy Act.
The letter emphasizes the damage and economic losses that disasters have caused the United States. It also underscores the need for more coordinated approaches to disaster preparedness that proactively reduce risk and break down the tendency of federal resilience efforts to take place in siloes, which can result in inefficiencies and challenges for state and local partners.
The bill, introduced by Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Representatives Scott Peters (D-CA) and Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL), would establish a chief resilience officer (CRO) position in the Executive Office of the President to improve the effectiveness of federal efforts to address climate vulnerabilities. The CRO would establish and oversee interagency working groups and a council of nonfederal partners focused on taking stock of existing federal operations; identify challenges and barriers to building climate resilience; and design a national strategy and implementation plan to address those shortcomings.
These measures, and others outlined in the bill, would help align and coordinate federal resilience initiatives to ensure that businesses, infrastructure, and communities alike are prepared—and adequately resourced—before disaster strikes.