New program will help communities assess local impacts of climate change

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At an event in Shelburne Falls on April 19, the Baker administration announced a new program to help municipalities prepare for climate change and assess their vulnerabilities.
The Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program will provide grants for cities and towns to participate in a process to identify local hazards and vulnerabilities and develop strategies to become more resilient.
The announcement follows the signing of an “integrated climate change strategy” executive order by Gov. Charlie Baker last September, which laid out a strategy for the Commonwealth to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve resiliency, and protect against the impacts of climate change. Under Executive Order 569, the administration established a framework for cities and towns to assess their vulnerabilities to climate change and extreme weather events and to provide technical assistance.
“The MVP program is a critical component of implementing Governor Baker’s Executive Order 569 on climate change,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton in a press release. “This program will help communities understand their vulnerabilities and risks, but also the strengths they already have that make them resilient.”
The state will use a standardized toolkit to certify providers to assess vulnerabilities, and communities will be able to choose from the list. The program will use statewide climate projections and data.
Using climate change data and local knowledge, the program aims to identify a community’s hazards, challenges and strengths to develop a plan to improve resilience.
Communities that complete the program will be designated as a “Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program community.” According to the administration, the designation may lead to improved standing for future funding opportunities.
Link to Energy and Environmental Affairs website for more information, including project eligibility criteria