The New York-based Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust has awarded a $300,000 grant to the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) to showcase resilience as a major component of climate change adaptation in federal policy, with a particular focus on coastal communities and nature-based solutions.
EESI Chair Jared Blum has been a staunch proponent of EESI’s focus on resilience. "As devastating storms in recent years have shown, we must modify our buildings and infrastructure to withstand more extreme weather, sea-level rise, flooding, and other 'new normals,' as well as make our natural systems more resilient to climate change. Thirteen U.S. federal agencies agreed that there is no time to lose in their most recent National Climate Assessment!" Blum noted that "making all communities more resilient is the right thing to do. Good public policies can ensure environmental, economic, and social sustainability."
The 2017 disaster season was the costliest on record, with more than $300 billion in damage from 16 individual 'billion-dollar' weather events. Having the U.S. government continue on with “business-as-usual” in the face of these mounting impacts places an unsustainable burden on our country’s people and federal agencies. Indeed, federal and international reports confirm that we must act urgently to mitigate climate change, while also adapting to the already apparent climate impacts.
"We are showing what resilience looks like and how federal policies can encourage it," explained EESI Director Carol Werner. "Resilient infrastructure—both natural infrastructure and built infrastructure—will make all regions of the United States safer, stronger, and more prepared for climate impacts—but it is especially important in coastal and flood-prone regions, which are at the front line of climate change."
Through its highly-praised public briefings, fact sheets, and work with a diverse set of stakeholders, EESI is examining a number of interconnected issues related to resilience. EESI's work will showcase how climate impacts touch every corner of the federal government, and how better resilience planning in our federal policies will make communities across the country—ranging from coastal areas to military bases, from farming and rural regions to especially vulnerable low-income communities—more resilient to the impacts of climate change.
EESI has engaged on federal resilience and adaptation for almost a decade. Starting in 2017, EESI increased its focus on resilience with a keystone series of briefings, Building Resilient and Secure Infrastructure, which highlighted problems and solutions to create a more resilient, secure and climate-adapted infrastructure system. EESI will continue its work in partnerships and coalitions to advance resilience as a core federal policy issue.
The Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust is a progressive family foundation. It makes grants to organizations that are working to create a more just, equitable, democratic and environmentally sustainable world.
The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (www.eesi.org) is an independent, non-profit organization advancing innovative policy solutions to set us on a cleaner, more secure and sustainable energy path. EESI educates policymakers, builds coalitions and develops policy in support of energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable biomass, sustainable buildings, and sustainable transportation. EESI was founded by a bipartisan Congressional caucus in 1984, and its strong relationship with Congress helps EESI serve as a trusted source of credible, non-partisan information on energy and environmental issues. EESI receives no congressional funding and is supported through contributions and grants.