Publications

Summary Report: Are Washington State Agencies Preparing for Climate Change?

Citation

This 2018 summary was prepared by Dr. Joe Casola of the UW Climate Impacts Group and draws upon the research conducted by Dani Ziff and Dr. Nives Dolšak, UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs.


Abstract

This 2018 summary was prepared by Dr. Joe Casola of the UW Climate Impacts Group, and draws upon the research conducted by Dani Ziff and Dr. Nives Dolšak, UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. Ms. Ziff’s thesis, which provides a more comprehensive description of the project can be found here: https://digital.lib.washington.edu/researchworks/handle/1773/40228

Washington State has identified climate change as a major challenge to its economic, social, and environmental success. The importance of climate change to the State and the role that State agencies play in preparing for future climate impacts were outlined in the Washington Integrated Climate Response Strategy in 2012.

To take stock of agencies’ efforts, the University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group and School of Marine and Environmental Affairs reviewed publicly available online documents, administered an online survey, and convened focus group discussions involving over 60 agency staff. The key findings of this research are:

  • Of the 200+ adaptation actions identified in the Washington Integrated Climate Response Strategy, online documents provide evidence of progress for nearly two-thirds (65%) of the actions.
  • The adaptation actions being pursued are mostly related to coordination (33%), policy/administrative activities, (22%), research (22%), and education (17%). Only a small fraction (6%) of activities were classified as risk reduction actions (e.g., investments in new infrastructure, alteration in natural resource management practices).
  • Barriers to adaptation include limited financial or human resources, inadequate institutional support, inadequate information and expertise, contrary public beliefs, and lack of collaboration.
  • A logic model focused on Inputs, Activities, Outputs, Outcomes, and Impacts may provide a template for program managers and agency leaders as they attempt to monitor progress in achieving adaptation goals