WASHINGTON, DC – At today’s meeting of the DC Council, Councilmember Charles Allen introduced a bill to create a Commission on Climate Change and Resiliency. Co-introduced with Councilmember Mary Cheh, the Commission on Climate Change and Resiliency Act of 2015 will require the District to undertake a cross-sector approach to assessing and mitigating the current and coming climate change impacts, as well as assessing the District’s resilience to adverse events such as hurricanes and man-made disasters.
Allen said, “Climate change is no longer a future event. The District’s climate is changing now and impacting our natural resources, our built environment, our public health system and more. Poor air quality, extreme weather, and flooding are already here. The District needs to assess our vulnerabilities and create a plan to address them effectively. I welcome Pope Francis’s call to action on climate change and believe we need to start working now to protect District residents from preventable harm.”
As proposed, the Commission would include ex officio members from several District agencies, including: DDOE, DDOT, OP, DOH, DMPED, DGS, HSEMA, and DC Water. The Commission would also have 16 public members – half appointed by the Mayor, the other half by the Council – with expertise in a number of relevant areas, including environmental science, environmental justice, public health, economic development, energy, and insurance.
The Commission on Climate Change and Resiliency Act of 2015 will ensure that the District is identifying the steps that must be taken now to mitigate the current and coming climate change impacts. Because climate change cannot be successfully addressed piecemeal, bringing all the related agencies and industries together ensures mitigation and adaptation are priorities as the District moves forward when planning and designing policies, programs, and projects.