WHEREAS, the New England Governors and the Eastern Canadian Premiers adopted during the 41st annual conference the revised Regional Climate Change Action Plan, recognizing the importance of implementing adaptation strategies to ensure we build resilience into our infrastructure and prepare the region for long-term changing climatic conditions, thus supporting our regional economies and protecting our citizens;
WHEREAS, the region will be increasingly challenged by the impacts of climate change, such as increases in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, drought, heat waves, and icing events; storm surge combined with sea level rise and sea-ice melt; changes in season length; and an increased presence of invasive species and pests.
WHEREAS, adaptationcan be defined as an adjustment in ecological, social, infrastructure, or economic systems in response to actual or expected climatic changes and their associated impacts, which refers to changes in processes, practices, and structures to moderate potential damages or to benefit from opportunities associated with climate change;
WHEREAS, the states and provinces have infrastructure, economic, ecological, and social interconnections that bind the region together, and resiliency planning will ensure those interconnections are stable and able to adapt to changing climate conditions;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the governors and premiers acknowledge the importance of climate change resiliency planning and design to ensure the safety of their citizens, including our vulnerable populations, the reliability and resilience of the region’s infrastructure, the stability and vitality of our economies, the productivity of our natural resources, and the ecological connectivity necessary to support species migration.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the governors and premiers request that the Committee on the Environment (COE) form a working group with expertise in adaptation to advance the resolution. This work will advance through the Climate Change Steering Committee (CCSC) prior to COE approval;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT based on previous works made by the CCSC and the Ecological Connectivity Working Group, this working group should consider current state and provincial activities and explore opportunities for regional collaboration on science, adaptation planning, and implementation of strategies to build resilience. It is requested that the COE update the Coordinating Committee Officials on this working group’s progress in 2020 and present a report summarizing their work and identifying potential opportunities to regionally coordinate resiliency and adaptation planning efforts at the 45th Annual Conference of the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers in 2021.
Adopted at the 42nd Annual Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers, in Stowe, Vermont, August 13, 2018.