resource allocation decisions; sufficient budgetary resources to actually implement allocation decisions; personnel who both understand climate science and understand the needs of climate-affected decision makers; mechanisms for monitoring the organization’s performance, in order to improve over time; and processes to ensure accountability to the parties that use information developed or shared by the institution.

RECOMMENDATION 7: The federal government should facilitate coordination of the many interrelated components of America’s response to climate change with a process that identifies the most critical coordination issues and recommends concrete steps for how to address these issues. Coordination and possible reorganization among federal agencies will require attention from the highest levels of the executive branch and from Congress. In areas of mixed federal and non-federal responsibility, the federal government’s leadership role should emphasize support and facilitation of decentralized responses at lower levels of government and in the private sector.


Responding to the risks of climate change is one of the most important challenges facing the United States today. Unfortunately, there is no “magic bullet” for dealing with this issue; no single solution or set of actions that can eliminate the risks we face. America’s climate choices will involve political and value judgments by decision makers at all levels. These choices, however, must be informed by sound scientific analyses. This report recommends a diversified portfolio of actions, combined with a concerted effort to learn from experience as those actions proceed, to lay the foundation for sound decision-making today and expand the options available to decision makers in the future. Doing so will require political will and resolve, innovation and perseverance, and collaboration across a wide range of actors.

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