GSA to expand climate change adaptation efforts in 2013

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To prepare for climate change, the General Services Administration plans to expand its scenario-planning sessions and climate literacy training this year.

The efforts are part of GSA's climate change adaptation plan. President Obama signed an executive order in 2009 that requires federal agencies to provide updated sustainability plans every year, and the agencies released their third annual plans Feb. 7. For the first time, they included separate plans for climate change (.pdf) adaptation.

In 2012, GSA piloted scenario-planning exercises in the National Capital Region and the Heartland Region (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska). The regions practiced planning and strategy development: The National Capital Region focused on sea-level rise and extreme temperatures, while the Heartland Region focused on extreme precipitation and temperatures.

The participants were able to "translate climate science into impacts on infrastructure, real property, occupants, and product and service offerings," GSA says.

The U.S. Global Change Research Program assisted on the exercises and was able to take away insights on what scientific information GSA needs and in what formats, GSA says. The USGCRP also connected GSA with climate experts from other parts of the federal government.

As a result of the exercises, GSA says it now has a better understanding of the work it needs to do before it reaches out to its customers and partners on climate change.

In 2013, GSA plans to expand the pilots. It says it expects some of its customers will choose to adjust to climate change, and some will choose to move away from hazards.

It also says it will expand its climate literacy training sessions with the Federal Acquisition Service and Public Building Service National Account Manager workforce. In fiscal 2012, it held an initial training session for its New England Region and Greater Southwest Region.

For more:
- download GSA's climate change adaptation plan for fiscal 2013 (.pdf)
- see all the agency sustainability plans on performance.gov

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