WASHINGTON - President Obama established today a Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, a key component of the U.S. Climate Action Plan announced in June 2013. This announcement follows through on the Plan’s goal of planning for and supporting local climate impact resilience efforts. The Task Force includes state and local elected officials, as well as tribal leaders from across the country, who will advise the administration and federal agencies on the needs of communities who are already being affected by climate change.

President Obama also signed an Executive Order directing federal agencies to take steps to help U.S. communities strengthen their resilience to climate change impacts, including extreme weather events, sea level rise, water scarcity, forest fires, and related issues.

Following is a statement by Christina DeConcini, Director of Government Affairs, World Resources Institute:

“Local leaders and citizens across the country are dealing with serious climate impacts that affect their property, businesses, and livelihoods. This week marks the one year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, which tragically took people’s lives and caused enormous damage from which many people are still recovering."

“Local officials and community leaders are on the front lines across the country in dealing with climate impacts, such as rising seas and increased flooding, while also planning for expected increased risks in a warming world. They recognize that the facts are in and the science is overwhelmingly clear on climate change.”

“These leaders are acting on the science and showing real leadership by developing resilience plans to protect communities from the worst of these impacts. This Task Force is very welcome and reflects the importance of building partnerships between the Federal Government and local communities to strengthen the U.S. response and resilience to climate change.”

Find out more about WRI’s work with local leaders and communities to respond to climate impacts, here: http://www.wri.org/our-work/project/us-climate-impacts-initiative.

WRI is a global research organization that spans more than 50 countries, with offices in the United States, China, India, Brazil, and more. Our more than 300 experts and staff work closely with leaders to turn big ideas into action to sustain our natural resources—the foundation of economic opportunity and human well-being.