Rising to the Challenge, Together

Rising to the Challenge, Together

The nascent field of climate adaptation in the United States is not yet equal to the task, or evolving quickly or deliberately enough, to manage worsening climate threats, a report from the Kresge Foundation finds. Based on interviews, surveys, and a literature review, the report, Rising to the Challenge, Together (106 pages, PDF), found that while communities — led by city governments and supported by philanthropic funds — are experimenting with adaptation efforts, the field lacks both a sense of urgency and a unifying vision for a resilient, equitable future. The report assesses the field's critical needs according to a framework of components — purpose, people, practice, and pillars of support — including a need for clear regional, sectoral, national, and cross-cutting priorities to drive focus; effective utilization of existing networks; greater professionalization; and creative, sustained, and coordinated financing and funding mechanisms. Recommendations include communicating the need for both mitigation and adaptation that enhance equity and social cohesion; engaging underrepresented actors, including in rural areas; making the economic case for adaptation by assessing and disclosing climate risk; and leveraging local efforts to scale up adaptation.