Adaptation and Mitigation Nexus (AMNex)

OVERVIEW OF THE NCAnet

Much of the stakeholder engagement of the Third National Climate Assessment (NCA) was accomplished through a network of partner organizations that extended the NCA process and products to a broader audience. In the largest sense, this “network of networks” (NCAnet) includes all of the organizations that deliberately worked to connect the NCA with a broad array of stakeholders. More specifically, the NCA built long-term capacity to conduct and use assessments by cultivating partnerships with organizations that will participate in the sustained assessment process. One way that NCAnet partners have organized their interactions and activities is through affinity groups. These groups provide a way for partners to structure their NCA-related activities around common issues or areas of interest.

OVERVIEW OF THE NCAnet AFFINITY GROUP “AMNex”

The purpose of the NCAnet Adaptation and Mitigation Nexus (AMNex) Affinity Group is to provide a forum to characterize and explore the co-benefits and conflicts of integrative adaptation and mitigation (A+M) practices. AMNex membership spans across representatives from Federal, State, and local government agencies, non-profits, private sector organizations, and university institutions.

THE “AMNEX”

Together we are providing a forum to encourage communities, businesses, and government agencies to Ask the Climate Question:  What data and tools exist to help characterize problems and opportunities and to maximize the return on our infrastructure and climate investments – mitigation and adaptation – while also balancing economic, social, and environmental benefits? It’s important that communities Connect-the-Dots between climate mitigation and adaptation and have descriptions to help them characterize potential benefits and costs. AMNex is helping to identify areas of potential research for the synergies between these strategies and to provide examples of measures that both reduce carbon pollution (mitigation) and enhance resilience to climate change impacts (adaptation). Among the potential benefits to communities from Connecting-the-Dots between A+M to be explored by AMNex are: (1) increased return on investments in mitigation and adaptation; (2) enhanced climate benefits of infrastructure investments; and (3) increased revenue sources for implementation.

President Obama’s Climate Action Plan[1] and the subsequent Executive Order 13653[2] on climate preparedness and resilience require the Federal government to incorporate climate change preparedness and resilience in its programs and policies, and to enhance its provision of technical assistance in an effort to help communities successfully mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to a changing climate. AMNex is aimed to work on the means for characterizing the connections across mitigation and adaptation (see diagram for examples of what AMNex considers as examples of “mitigation,” “adaptation,” and the nexus between the two) so that possible co-benefits or conflicts can be identified and explored.

This work will inform both the National Climate Assessment’s[3] focus on interactions between adaptation and mitigation activities[4], the broader sustained assessment process, and the Inform Decisions program.

KEY QUESTIONS, ACTIVITIES, AND OUTCOMES OF AMNex

AMNex QUESTIONS

  • What are examples of adaptation and mitigation synergies for key sectors (e.g. energy, water, buildings, transportation, human health, etc.)?
  • Who’s already thinking about these intersections (e.g. specific government agencies, public utility companies, private sector, researchers, NGOs, etc.)?
  • What research exists on the integration of mitigation and adaptation?
  • Where is it being implemented on the ground and what case studies are available (e.g. U.S. and internationally)?
  • How is the implementation being carried out (e.g. pilot projects, innovative approaches, etc.)?
  • What innovative approaches can be used to plan and implement integrative strategies?
  • How are, or how should, these approaches be tracked and evaluated to ensure that successes are captured for future learning?
  • What are the broader implications for integrated mitigation/adaptation approaches?  E.g., do the approaches create new and possibly harmful environmental, economic, or social consequences, either where the approaches are implemented or in other areas? 
  • How do these approaches account for long-term viability (e.g., wind turbines in a flood plain as an extreme, but possible, example)?
  • How are integrated mitigation/adaptation approaches evaluated?  How are the two components compared to one another (e.g., $/tC reduced vs. damage costs projected to be avoided)?

 AMNex KEY ACTIVITIES

  • Research, whitepapers, and documents outlining example co-benefits and conflicts of integrative adaptation and mitigation activities
  • Understanding of existing data, efforts, strategies, and research on the mitigation and adaptation interface
  • Webinars (e.g. integrative adaptation and mitigation strategies 101, case studies, sector-specific details, etc.)
  • Understanding of existing pilot studies (local, city, regional, national, international) of which to glean possible lessons learned

AMNex INTENDED OUTCOMES

  • Technical input to the ongoing sustained National Climate Assessment
  • Identification and characterization of the key integrated adaptation and mitigation decisions useful for informing research agendas for producing new science to help close identified gaps
  • Improved understanding of integrated adaptation and mitigation implementation strategies
  • Enhanced capacity to “Connect the Dots” and implement integrated adaptation + mitigation strategies

AMNex LEADERSHIP & COORDINATION

 

List of Organizations Participating in AMNex

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

National Academy of Engineering (NAE)

Arizona State University (ASU)

National Academy of Sciences (NAS)

Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO)

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA)

National Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

American Water Works Association (AWWA)

National Wildlife Federation (NWF)

BlueGreenAlliance

New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection

Center for Clean Air Policy (CCAP)

The Next Generation (NextGen)

Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)

Center for Disease Control (CDC)

Seattle Public Utilities

Climate Central

Second Nature

Columbia University

Sierra Club

Department of Energy (DOE)

Texas Sea Grant Program

Drawing Conclusions, LLC

Union of Concerned Scientists (USC)

EcoAdapt

University of Southern California

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)

General Services Administration (GSA)

U.S. Forest Service (USFS)

The Gold Standard Foundation

U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)

Habitat Seven

U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP)

Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS)

World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO)

 



[1] Executive Office of the President. The President’s Climate Action Plan. June 2013. Website < http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/image/president27sclimateactionplan.pdf>

[2] The President. Executive Order 13653—Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change. November 2013. Vol. 78 No. 215. Website < http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-11-06/pdf/2013-26785.pdf>

[3] Melillo, Jerry M., Terese (T.C.) Richmond, and Gary W. Yohe, Eds., 2014: Climate Change Impacts in the United States: The Third National Climate Assessment. U.S. Global Change Research Program, 841 pp. doi:10.7930/J0Z31WJ2.

[4] Melillo, Jerry M., Terese (T.C.) Richmond, and Gary W. Yohe, Eds., 2014: Climate Change Impacts in the United States: The Third National Climate Assessment. Appendix 6: Topics for Consideration in Future Assessments. Pages 826 – 827. U.S. Global Change Research Program, 841 pp. doi:10.7930/J0Z31WJ2.