USDA Releases Updated Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plan

Jun 21, 2024

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) joined more than 20 federal agencies to release its updated Climate Adaptation Plan and expand the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to ensure federal operations are increasingly resilient to climate change impacts. The updated adaptation plans advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s National Climate Resilience Framework, which helps to align climate resilience investments across the public and private sector through common principles and opportunities for action to build a climate resilient nation.

Communities from coast to coast are experiencing the impacts of climate change firsthand through crop yields depleted by droughts; businesses, homes, and roadways washed away by floods; and entire communities destroyed by deadly wildfires. In light of these impacts, the Biden-Harris Administration is taking action to assess, manage, and reduce the risks that climate change poses to the nation. USDA is developing a mission-wide approach to climate adaptation, establishing protocols to promote climate resilience in agricultural production, natural resource and land management, rural development, food security and safety, and science and innovation. For example, USDA’s Forest Service is seeking to reduce climate-driven wildfire risk through the implementation of the Wildfire Crisis Strategy (WCS) and support post-wildfire recovery through climate-informed actions in its Reforestation Strategy.

“USDA has taken a Department-wide approach to considering the impacts of climate change on our mission delivery and those we serve,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “From USDA headquarters to field offices nationwide, these efforts enable USDA to support the agriculture and forestry sectors and diverse communities across the country as they confront the impacts of climate change.”

“As communities face extreme heat, natural disasters and severe weather from the impacts of climate change, President Biden is delivering record resources to build climate resilience across the country,” said Brenda Mallory, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “Through his Investing in America agenda and an all-of-government approach to tackling the climate crisis, the Biden-Harris Administration is delivering more than $50 billion to help communities increase their resilience and bolster protections for those who need it most. By updating our own adaptation strategies, the federal government is leading by example to build a more resilient future for all.”

At the beginning of his Administration, President Biden tasked federal agencies with leading whole-of-government efforts to address climate change through Executive Order 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. Following the magnitude of challenges posed by the climate crisis underscored last year when the nation endured a record 28 individual billion-dollar extreme weather and climate disasters that caused more than $90 billion in aggregate damage, USDA continues to be a leader and partner in adaptation and resilience.

USDA released its initial Climate Adaptation Plan in 2021 and progress reports outlining advancements toward achieving their adaptation goals in 2022. In coordination with the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the Office of Management and Budget, agencies updated their Climate Adaptation Plans for 2024 to 2027 to better integrate climate risk across their mission, operations, and asset management, including:

Combining historical data and projections to assess exposure of assets to climate-related hazards including extreme heat and precipitation, sea level rise, flooding, and wildfire;
Expanding the operational focus on managing climate risk to facilities and supply chains to include federal employees and federal lands and waters;
Broadening the mission focus to describe mainstreaming adaptation into agency policies, programs, planning, budget formulation, and external funding;
Linking climate adaptation actions with other Biden-Harris Administration priorities, including advancing environmental justice and the President’s Justice40 Initiative, strengthening engagement with Tribal Nations, supporting the America the Beautiful initiative, scaling up nature-based solutions, and addressing the causes of climate change through climate mitigation; and
Adopting common progress indicators across agencies to assess the progress of agency climate adaptation efforts.
All plans from each of the 20+ agencies and more information are available at For more information on USDA climate adaptation efforts, visit

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America.

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