As directed by Executive Order 80, the North Carolina Climate Risk Assessment and Resilience Plan is the state’s most comprehensive effort to date, based on science and stakeholder input, to address North Carolina’s vulnerability to climate change. This plan is a framework to guide state action, engage policy-makers and stakeholders, facilitate collaboration across the state, focus the state’s attention on climate resilience actions and address underlying stressors such as the changing climate, aging infrastructure, socio-economic disparities, and competing development priorities.
This plan provides our best understanding of the projected change in the climate; climate justice impacts; state infrastructure, assets, programs, and services within 11 critical sectors that are vulnerable and at risk to climate and non-climate stressors; actions currently underway; and recommendations for nature-based solutions to enhance ecosystem resiliency and sequester carbon in the state’s natural and working lands.
The 2020 Resilience Plan establishes the North Carolina Resilience Strategy, which includes four elements:
- North Carolina Climate Science Report,
- State Agency Resilience Strategies,
- Statewide Vulnerability Assessment and Resilience Strategies, and
- North Carolina Enhanced Hazard Mitigation Plan
Building a more resilient North Carolina requires the participation of every branch, agency, and decision-maker in state government. Designating clear leadership and communication structures is important to building climate resilience successfully, so the 2020 Resilience Plan identified the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency as the lead to manage efforts and prioritize and implement resilience activities in North Carolina.
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The NC Climate Risk Assessment and Resilience Plan calls for each cabinet agency to develop an Agency Resilience Strategy report, updated annually in March, with guidance from the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency. The reports build on the activities listed in the Plan’s State Agency Resilience Strategies and describe the agency’s latest understanding of its climate vulnerabilities and risks. The reports outline the agency’s current and planned actions to increase resilience and report progress on implementing strategies.
As of October 2022, Cabinet agencies have combined the annual reporting on Executive Order 80, Executive Order 246, and the Climate Risk Assessment and Resilience Plan actions into Climate Strategy Reports, submitted to the Climate Change Interagency Council.
Section 9 of Governor Cooper’s Executive Order 80 directs all cabinet agencies to integrate climate adaptation and resiliency planning into their policies, programs, and operations. By evaluating the impacts of climate change on programs and operations, cabinet agencies will be able to support communities and sectors of the economy that are most vulnerable to climate change and protect the resources and assets of value to North Carolinians. On behalf of the Climate Change Interagency Council, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has submitted the North Carolina Climate Risk Assessment and Resilience Plan to Governor Roy Cooper. The Climate Risk Assessment and Resilience Plan is the result of 11 months of stakeholder engagement and collaborative work with the assistance of federal partners, state universities, local governments, community planners, non-governmental organizations, climate justice leaders, stakeholders interested in nature-based solutions, and other interested partners.