On June 2, 2020—on behalf of the Climate Change Interagency Council—the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) submitted the North Carolina Climate Risk Assessment and Resilience Plan to Governor Roy Cooper.
Based on both science and stakeholder input, the plan is the state’s most comprehensive-ever attempt to address North Carolina’s vulnerability to climate change.
“Climate change impacts the health, safety, and financial stability of North Carolinians, and we must take it head on. A resilient North Carolina is a stronger and more competitive North Carolina,” said Cooper.
The Climate Risk Assessment and Resilience Plan is the result of 11 months of stakeholder engagement and collaborative work with the assistance of federal partners, state universities, local governments, community planners, non-governmental organizations, climate justice leaders, stakeholders interested in nature-based solutions, and other interested partners.
“As we begin another hurricane season with even greater challenges facing North Carolina this year, the administration’s leadership has better positioned our state to prepare our most vulnerable communities,” said DEQ Secretary Michael S. Regan, chair of the Climate Change Interagency Council.
“The Risk and Resilience Plan takes the experience and knowledge of the experts and leaders from across the state to ensure a comprehensive approach to address the risks to our infrastructure and economy,” he added.
This plan is a framework to guide state action, engage policy-makers and stakeholders, and facilitate collaboration across the state and focus the state’s attention on climate resilience actions and address underlying stressors such as the changing climate, aging infrastructure, socio-economic disparities, and competing development priorities.
This plan provides:
- their best understanding of the projected change in the climate;
- climate justice impacts;
- state infrastructure, assets, programs and services within 11 critical sectors that are vulnerable and at risk to climate and non-climate stressors;
- actions currently underway; and
- recommendations for nature-based solutions to enhance ecosystem resiliency and sequester carbon in the state’s natural and working lands.
The 2020 Resilience Plan describes next steps for implementing and updating resilience initiatives. It builds upon North Carolina’s ongoing work in this area and establishes the North Carolina Resilience Strategy, which includes four elements:
- the North Carolina Climate Science Report;
- State Agency Resilience Strategies;
- Statewide Vulnerability Assessment and Resilience Strategies; and
- the North Carolina Enhanced Hazard Mitigation Plan.
Photo (courtesy of N.C. Office of Recovery and Resiliency) shows the damaged Bogue Inlet Pier on Emerald Isle after Hurricane Florence hit 2018.