WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) was joined by 17 of his Congressional colleagues today in sending a letter to President Obama, congratulating him on the success of the third National Climate Assessment (NCA) released on May 6, 2014, and urging that steps be taken to ensure future NCAs build on the success of this year’s report.
“Sound science and informed decision making are our best weapons for combating climate change,” said Rep. Grijalva. “The 2014 NCA set a high bar for transparent information that is readily accessible to the American people, and we must ensure future NCAs live up to, and exceed, that standard.”
The lawmakers call for immediate action in developing a clear plan of conduct for the next NCA – due out in 2018 – as well as a proposal ensuring future assessments build from current progress.
“We have a unique opportunity as we look towards 2018, to ensure this process is respected and improved upon,” Grijalva continued. “I look forward to working with the Obama Administration to achieve that goal, and ensure policymakers and the public alike are well informed about the threats we all face from climate change.”
The full text of Rep. Grijalva’s letter can be found here and below.
Dear President Obama,
The Third National Climate Assessment, released by the Administration on May 6, 2014, represents a significant step forward in providing policy-makers with the information they need to best prepare our nation for the effects of climate change. The report is clear, credible and widely accessible to the general public and decision-makers across the nation. The information is easily retrieved by region, sector or topic, and all of the fundamental scientific information that supports the conclusions is only a click away. The broad array of contributing experts, the degree of transparency and scientific integrity is a testament to the success of the report. To ensure this quality of product for the future reports, it is critical to sustain the strong foundation that has already been laid.
Key to the high quality of this report is the broad engagement strategy, the highly qualified federal advisory committee, the support of many federal agencies and external partners, and the strong central staffing of the effort within the US Global Change Research Program. Through an extraordinary effort, this expert team has provided the public with a sweeping picture of how the climate in the U.S. is changing now, as well as what changes we expect to see in the coming century. We congratulate all those involved in this vast and important achievement on a job well done.
Required by the Global Change Research Act of 1990, federal agencies must produce a global change assessment every four years. Looking towards the next due date in 2018, we have a unique opportunity, while this Administration is still in place, to ensure that all of the investments in capacity building and staffing for the NCA are not lost. Moving forward in preparation for the 2018 NCA process is the critical next step, and determining roles in leadership, staffing and oversight should be done immediately.
Climate change affects all of us and its impacts will only grow more severe. Considering this urgency, we ask you to take immediate action in developing a clear plan for conducting the 2018 assessment, as well as a proposal for ensuring that future assessments build from the excellent foundation that has already been laid by the NCA.
Sound science and informed decision making are the best weapons we have in stepping up to the task of combatting climate change. We look forward to hearing from you regarding your plans sustaining a robust and dynamic National Climate Assessment for the near future and generations to come.