In 2009, President Obama signed an executive order which, in part, required participation of federal agencies in an interagency task force to address climate change adaptation. A memorandum issued by the CEQ in 2010 instructed agencies on consideration of climate change effects in NEPA implementation. Specific agencies, such as the Department of the Interior, have also declared their intentions to develop and implement climate change adaptation policies. In October 2011, the Federal Interagency Task Force released a progress report addressing, among other things, the Integration of Adaptation into Federal Government planning and activities.
Victor B. Flatt presented a review of what has happened so far in climate change adaptation at the federal level, what legal authority currently exists for further adaptation policy, and the current political debate surrounding the issue which could affect federal policy making. Professor Flatt is an ELI Visiting Scholar, the Tom & Elizabeth Taft Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law, and the Director of Center for Law, Environment, Adaptation and Resources (CLEAR) at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Law.