Climate Change & Infrastructure

Sea level rise. Wildfires. Droughts. Floods. Extreme heat. These and other climate impacts affect our nation’s already-aging infrastructure, including roads, bridges, power grids, water, and wastewater systems. The toll on public health and safety is enormous. Investing in infrastructure presents an opportunity to avoid even more intense impacts, and to build a low-carbon economy. Our experts explain what the risks and opportunities are, how we can build community resilience, and what we can do to advance climate-smart infrastructure.

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How California Will Prepare Its Infrastructure for More Climate Catastrophes

, Western states policy manager

Few people think very much about infrastructure. When roads, power lines, and water systems work, we tend to take it for granted. But when they fail, the loss is immediately apparent and sometimes hugely harmful to human life. As the impacts of climate change become more perilous, we must build infrastructure that can keep up with a changing climate. That is the essence of “climate-safe” infrastructure. Read more >

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California’s Infrastructure Earns a C-. We Need More Equitable and Climate-Safe Infrastructure Now

, Former Western states senior climate analyst

I count on the quality and reliability of our roads, water and wastewater systems, and electric grid to help me keep my daughter safe from harm and provide an environment where she can thrive. Many other parents do, too. These expectations seem reasonable. They will, however, become even harder to meet in the face of continued underinvestment and disinvestment in communities and more frequent and severe climate-related extreme events here in California and beyond. These issues must be key considerations in infrastructure decisions and solutions moving forward. Read more >

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Photo: John Rogers

Three Ways Federal Infrastructure Policy Can Speed Up Our Clean Energy Transition

, senior energy analyst

May thirteenth marked the beginning of Infrastructure Week and, as you might have heard, there might be at least one thing that Republicans and Democrats agree on: the need to invest in our nation’s aging infrastructure to remain competitive and build a more resilient, equitable system. This includes the electricity sector, where we must decarbonize our electricity supply, address growing threats to system resilience from climate change, and invest in the research and development of technologies that will power our growing clean energy economy. Here’s three ways a federal infrastructure policy package could help make this happen. Read more >

Photo: John Rogers
Photo: James Ferguson/Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Derrick Jackson
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Photo: AWEA

How Big is Gridlock in our Electric Grid?

, Senior energy analyst

Progress in electric power, particularly the growth of renewable energy and consumer choice, is looking like gridlock.  Look closer and we can see three fundamental issues: state policy vs. federal policy; changing perspectives on reliability, and how electric grid planning should accommodate the ongoing transition to renewable energy. We even have gridlock in the appointment and continuity of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that oversees much of the decision making in these spaces.

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Photo: AWEA
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Three Climate Priorities the New Congress Can Actually Deliver On

, director of gov't affairs, Climate & Energy

What can actually get done right now? Read more >

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