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White House officials unveil programs to prepare cities for climate change scenarios

Recommendations by task force

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White House officials unveiled a series of measures to help local communities and cities prepare for extreme weather and climate impacts due to impending climate change scenarios, all recommended by a task force of US governors, mayors, and tribal leaders. More from Reuters:

The task force, appointed last November by Obama, said recommendations focus on how Washington can modernize programs and policies to incorporate climate change and provide tools to help local communities better design their own adaptation measures.

One measure calls for tools to track health problems linked to climate change, such as asthma.

Another asks Washington to integrate climate resilience planning criteria in all federal programs, such as those that provide transportation funding, “to ensure these projects will last as long as intended.”

The recommendations would “reorient” existing funds at a time when seeking new funding in Congress would be problematic since the new Republican leadership has said it will use federal budgets to weaken the president’s climate plan.

“At the local level, we just shake our heads at Washington. The congressional dialogue seems to be a fight over ideology rather than the realities on the ground which we deal with every day,” said task force member Ralph Becker, Democratic mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Another task force participant, Republican Mayor Jim Brainard of Carmel, Indiana, added since local leaders interact more frequently with their communities, they are more in touch with climate change concerns than Washington lawmakers.

“Neither party should want to be the party for dirty water or dirty air,” Brainard said.

Full story: White House offers climate change help to U.S. cities
Source: Reuters, November 17, 2014

Photo: NASA (Flickr)

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