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Climate Change

2010 Topic Advisory Group Archive (TAGs)

Four Topic Advisory Groups (TAGs) were formed in 2010 to assist in developing a state strategy for how Washington can prepare for and adapt to the impacts of climate change. This strategy was called for the by the Legislature in 2009 (Senate Bill 5560).

The Departments of Agriculture, Ecology, Fish and Wildlife, Health, Natural Resources, Transportation, and the University of Washington led TAGs to examine climate change impacts and identify preparation and adaptation strategies as well as additional research needs. The TAGs were structured around four areas and addressed a wide range of key issues that citizens, governments, and businesses will face in a changing climate. Many of these changes were characterized by the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington in the Washington Climate Change Impacts Assessment. This report is one of the foundations upon which the strategy will be built. Here is a quick summary of each TAG:

  • Built Environment, Infrastructure and Communities – This group focused on strategies most relevant and vital to our state’s communities and the services provided to those communities by transportation, energy, water, waste, and information infrastructure.
  • Human Health and Security – This group focused on strategies to address health and safety effects associated with poor air quality, thermal stress, extreme weather events, and adequacy of core public health surveillance and response infrastructure.
  • Ecosystems, Species, Habitats – This group addressed impacts on, and adaptation strategies for, species, ecosystems and habitats both at a fine scale (individual species and habitats) and a broad, or coarse, scale, which considers whole ecosystems or ecological systems across Washington.
  • Natural Resources (working lands and waters) – This group addressed the impacts of climate change and adaptation strategies related to the state’s natural resources, working lands, and waters, including forestry (forest growth, species, forest fires), agriculture (species changes, crop changes, and pests) and water quality and resources.

TAG members met regularly over the course of the next ten months. Based on the best available science on the impacts of climate change, the TAGs:

  • Selected priority issues to address during the course of the TAG work.
  • Summarized, for each selected priority issue, what is known about both the currently observed and projected impacts of climate change and associated adaptive strategies.
  • Summarized known key vulnerabilities and risks related to each TAG priority issue.
  • Assessed the capacity to undertake actions and barriers to action (administrative, regulatory, financial) related to each TAG priority issue.
  • Identified strategies including near and long-term actions to implement the strategies.
  • To support suggested strategies, identified technical resources and opportunities for partnerships between state, local, and tribal governments, private businesses, NGOs, and federal agencies.
  • Reviewed funding mechanisms used in other jurisdictions and recommend funding strategies for Washington that support suggested strategies.
  • Developed priority recommendations for monitoring efforts and for ongoing research needs.
  • Drafted an interim report of suggested recommendations.
  • Participated in a cross-TAG dialog to identify additional strategies that are broad and cross-cutting.

Cross-Cutting TAG Meetings

These meetings involved all four of the advisory groups to discuss cross-cutting issues, strategies, and recommendations that reach across all of the topics: