Dear USET/USET SPF Family,
The newest National Climate Assessment (NCA), released every 3-5 years by the US Global Change Research Program and mandated by Congress, was released to the public on November 14. The report includes 5 overview chapters covering physical climate science, adaptation, and mitigation; 17 topical chapters including those on Indigenous Peoples and Social Systems and Justice; and 10 regional chapters the Northeast, Southeast, and Southern Great Plains, which each have overlapping footprints with USET-member Tribal Nation lands. Several of the topical chapters may be of interest to specific departments in Tribal Nation governments, such as the chapters on Agriculture, Built Environment, Human Health, and Economics.
USET’s Climate Change Program Manager, Dr. Casey Thornbrugh, co-authored the Northeast regional chapter. The chapter includes information about the climate change concerns, responses, and successes of Tribal Nations across the region and highlights the important work of five USET-member Nations.
This edition of the report includes expanded resources for those who would like to engage with the report in different ways including brief handouts for each chapter, a digital art gallery, a companion podcast, and public webinars planned for each chapter over the next few months.
See these Key Messages from some chapters relevant to all USET membership:
Chapter 15, Human Health:
- Climate change is harming human health
- Systemic racism and discrimination exacerbate climate impacts on human health
- Timely, effective, and culturally appropriate adaptation and mitigation actions protect human health
Chapter 16, Tribes and Indigenous Peoples:
- Indigenous Peoples face risks to well-being and livelihoods from climate change and barriers to energy sovereignty
- Self-determination is key to Indigenous Peoples’ resilience to climate change
- Indigenous leadership guides climate change response
Chapter 18, Complex Systems:
- Human-Nature interconnections create unexpected climate risks and opportunities
- Complex climate impacts and responses further burden frontline communities
- Collaborations among diverse knowledge holders improve responses to complex climate challenges
- New governance approaches are emerging, but gaps in practice and evidence persist
Chapter 31, Adaptation:
- Adaptation is occurring but is insufficient in relation to the pace of climate change
- Effective adaptation requires centering equity
- Transformative adaptation will be needed to adequately address climate-related risks
- Effective adaptation governance empowers multiple voices to navigate competing goals
- Adaptation requires more than scientific information and understanding
- Adaptation investments and financing are difficult to track and may be inadequate
The USET Climate Change Program provides technical assistance for USET Member Tribal Nations working to address and prevent harm from climate change in their nations and communities. For more information and assistance, please contact Casey Thornbrugh (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Steph Courtney (email@example.com).