The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently released its first Strategic Framework for Addressing Climate Change to govern the Department’s efforts to combat the climate crisis. DHS is at the forefront of national initiatives to address the impacts of climate change, including by leading efforts to build resilience in communities across the country.
“From extreme weather events to record heat, the DHS workforce is on the front lines of the climate emergency every day,” said Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “With the release of our new climate framework, we are building on our commitment to combat climate change by strategically leveraging relevant resources, authorities, and expertise to maximize sustainability and resilience.”
The Strategic Framework builds on the DHS Climate Action Plan, which was released on Oct. 7, 2021 and outlines several steps the Department is taking to combat the climate crisis, including bolstering DHS’s ability to adapt to climate change, further increasing national resilience, undertaking mitigation measures, and addressing key vulnerabilities. Together, these documents reflect the urgency with which the Department is tackling climate change.
The Strategic Framework will guide DHS’s implementation of President Biden’s Executive Order on addressing the impacts of climate change at home and abroad, and includes the following five lines of effort: empowering individuals and communities to develop climate resilience; building readiness to respond to increases in climate-driven emergencies; incorporating climate science into strategy, policy, programs, and budgets; investing in a sustainable and resilient DHS; and, ensuring the DHS workforce is informed on climate change.
The Strategic Framework was developed through the first-ever DHS Climate Change Action Group (CCAG), which was established by Secretary Mayorkas. The CCAG is comprised of senior officials from across the Department and focuses on promoting resilience and addressing multiple climate change-related risks, including flooding, extreme heat, drought, and wildfires.