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House Committee Calls for Stronger Federal Role in Planning to Deal With Climate Change

The new "Solving the Climate Crisis" report could provide guidance and direction if federal leadership in Washington, D.C. finally decides to take aggressive steps to reduce carbon emissions and adapt to a changed climate.
July 9, 2020, 7am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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The House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis released a new "Solving the Climate Crisis" report this week, calling specific attention to the ability of local planners to work for climate solutions, according to an article by APA Policy Director Jason Jordan. 

"Over its more than 500 pages 'Solving the Climate Crisis' outlines big goals, economy-wide net zero carbon emissions by 2050, big aspirations, a new national commitment to a 'moonshot' approach to climate change, and granular policy detail covering a wide range of topics," according to Jordan. 

"The recommendations are built around 12 'key pillars' with detailed legislative suggestions in each area. The pillars cover infrastructure, clean energy, zero-emission technology, workforce issues, environmental justice, public health, agriculture, resiliency, natural resources, national security and international leadership, and core institutions."

While the report has virtually nop hope of becoming law, according to Jordan, the report could influence climate legislation under a new administration in the Executive Branch or new leadership in Congress. The report also lays out specific steps for local planners to lead on climate action, and calls for a stronger federal role in supporting the work of planning on issues like "building codes, setting resiliency standards, overhauling flood mapping, providing better data to communities, funding mitigation, and bolstering local community engagement," according to Jordan. The call for a stronger role for planning expertise echoes similar sentiments in a recent article about the role of the planning profession during the pandemic.

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Published on Wednesday, July 8, 2020 in American Planning Association
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