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JUNEAU — Recognizing that Alaska is the United States’ ground zero for the impacts of climate change, Governor Bill Walker today signed Administrative Order 289 establishing the Alaska Climate Change Strategy and Climate Action for Alaska Leadership Team. The Strategy creates a flexible and long-lasting framework for Alaskans to build a strategic response to climate change informed by the best available science, integration of indigenous and local knowledge, and consideration of Alaska’s economic interests. The order also calls for State departments to review their previous work on climate change, and identify immediate adaptation and response actions they can take.
“Alaskans should be at the forefront of innovation and response,” Governor Walker said. “In addition to developing solutions that ensure community and economic resilience while mitigating environmental harm, we must also engage with national and international partners to strengthen Alaska’s voice in global decision-making. We will support the goals of the Paris Agreement while ensuring that Alaskan communities and businesses have the resources and opportunity to benefit from the global response to climate change.”
The Climate Action Leadership Team will be composed of a diverse group of stakeholders from across the state, who will build on past research and policy recommendations to update and inform new policy priorities. Lt. Governor Byron Mallott will chair the 15-member team; the Governor will appoint members later this year. Applications from interested citizens are being accepted until November 14, 2017. The Leadership Team will also form subcommittees of non-members, who can provide expertise on specific issues.
The Climate Action Leadership Team will provide preliminary recommendations and progress reports on a quarterly basis, before delivering an initial recommended plan of action to the Governor by September 1, 2018. The plan will outline achievable actions in the four focus areas of mitigation, adaptation, research and response with the aim of fostering cross-sector partnerships and activities.
“Climate change will affect all Alaskans,” Lt. Governor Byron Mallott said. “Addressing this bipartisan issue is our responsibility as global citizens, and ensures that we leave for future generations all the promise and potential that Alaska has to offer.”