Adaptation for the Built Environment and Communities

  • Reform insurance programs that provide support to communities impacted by flooding, hurricanes, droughts, and wildfires to include affordability, mitigation, access, equity, and accurate flood and fire maps. Require that all rebuilding activities utilize materials that are climate change resilient (like fire-wise building in fire-adapted ecosystems) and are recycled or zero carbon and gentle on the natural world.
  • Halt development in climate-vulnerable areas that risks worsening the vulnerability of communities, such as development in flood-prone areas, fire-adapted ecosystems, forests, and wetlands. The National Flood Insurance Program should be reformed to ban new construction in floodplains and have stronger enforcement of floodplain management requirements. Overall, flood insurance should not be issued for new construction in (so-called) 100-year floodplains.
  • Update building codes to include area-specific climate resilience needs so that all new construction is clean, green, and environmentally sustainable and addresses highly localized conditions. 
  • Aim for balance between pre- and post-disaster spending. Currently, for example, the Disaster Recovery Act only sets aside 6% for pre-disaster resilience. Support policies that protect people, their homes, and protect or upgrade community infrastructure to meet the demands of dangerous or harmful weather that falls short of disaster, such as more frequent and more intense heat waves and downpours.
  • Develop and implement a human rights‐centered approach to displacement, migration, and resettlement. Provide support for communities to plan and implement responses to extreme weather, disease, and disasters to ensure that vulnerable populations are provided with transportation assistance, shelter, food, health services, and other resources and accommodations as needed. Ensure a legal right to return for communities. If economically disadvantaged or middle-income people cannot return to a place because it has been rendered unsafe by climate impacts and private insurance does not provide adequate compensation, provide a right to recompense from the federal government. Build or rebuild affordable housing and transportation for displaced residents, with a priority on supporting those with the greatest need.
  • Establish and provide policies, governance frameworks, and funding for people to move if they must or want to. The right to return should not require people to return to unsafe places. Economically disadvantaged communities and individuals should receive assistance and recompense of property equivalent to fair market value prior to climate events to relocate from lands frequently impacted.
  • Spend Community Development Block Grant funding provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development with an equity-centered frame, including:
    • Providing disaster funds to residents of manufactured homes.
    • Putting the needs of families struggling to make ends meet first and prioritizing them for support for future climate-related crises.
    • Supporting rental assistance.


The Vision for Equitable Climate Action (VECA) is a roadmap to prevent the worst of global warming. Acting equitably and ambitiously to reduce greenhouse gases to zero by 2050.

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