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.
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 and the subsequent Executive Order 13653 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 focus on interactions between adaptation and mitigation activities, the broader sustained assessment process, and the Inform Decisions program.
KEY QUESTIONS, ACTIVITIES, AND OUTCOMES OF AMNex
AMNex KEY ACTIVITIES
AMNex INTENDED OUTCOMES
AMNex LEADERSHIP & COORDINATION
 Executive Office of the President. The President’s Climate Action Plan. June 2013. Website < http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/image/president27sclimateactionplan.pdf>
 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>
 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.
 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.