Local governments have a new science-based resource to tackle climate challenges with the release of the report,‘Evaluating Knowledge to Support Climate Action’ and launch of the Science for Climate Action Network. The report, published in Weather, Climate and Society and summarized in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, was authored by nearly forty science and local government experts. The intent is to help local governments use science in the U.S. National Climate Assessments and other sources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adjust to now-unavoidable climate impacts.
With climate change intensifying, communities are working on solutions, but as the report highlights, new types of support are needed, including science that is more accessible, trusted, and relevant to local challenges. The report recommends a new framework that applies climate reports like the U.S. National Climate Assessment in a sustained, user-oriented process instead of a one-off release.
Building on a key recommendation of the report, to integrate climate science in routine decision making such as capital improvement planning and zoning, a Science for Climate Action Network is launching to provide guidance on a range of technical issues including bond ratings and infrastructure design. The network will convene teams of scientists, climate experts, and state and local officials to identify best practices in an ongoing process. The network will work with the latest science and technology, including the use of artificial intelligence to process city data and citizen science to collect missing data on impacts.
Following the release of the report, the Science for Climate Action Network will focus on providing resources to governments and groups to help limit warming and adapt to the changes that are already occurring. A convening process is planned to identify top-priorities and products for local governments in a robust stakeholder engagement process.