Crimmins will accelerate critical progress underway to deliver ambitious fifth U.S. climate report

Today, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) welcomed Allison Crimmins as Director of the National Climate Assessment, the nation’s foremost report on climate change, to help achieve the report’s new goals to increase usability and usefulness for businesses, cities and everyday citizens.

A highly regarded climate scientist with nearly a decade of Federal service at the Environmental Protection Agency, Crimmins has a strong history of leading complex scientific assessments and producing understandable, useful communication products.

The Biden-Harris Administration is dedicated to combatting the climate crisis with urgency and sound science that draws from a wide range of perspectives to ensure the assessment’s products best serve all of America. The Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5), which Crimmins will oversee, seeks to build on previous climate assessments by: developing new interactive tools to help everyday users better access, understand, and put climate data to practical use; expanding areas of focus that can help Americans better prepare for the economic and societal impacts of climate change; and convening authors from a vast array of experiences to help improve mitigation and adaptation planning efforts.

These enhancements are intended for the strategic and practical benefit of all Americans. Farmers facing heat waves can determine the types of crops they should grow; city planners anticipating increased precipitation levels can allocate resources to retrofit local drainage systems; small businesses can better anticipate demand for appliances like air conditioning units; and seasonal construction workers can plan for job opportunities where extreme weather will necessitate building resilient roads and bridges.

Significant progress on NCA5 is already underway – with key topics, federal coordinators and lead authors identified – and will draw from a wider variety of viewpoints and expertise than ever before.

“Real and urgently needed progress on climate change requires collective action,” said NCA Director Allison Crimmins. “That’s why I’m committed to ensuring that NCA5 represents and benefits all Americans. When every American has access to practical, usable information on how climate change affects their businesses, families, and communities, they can both reduce risks and seize opportunities. By highlighting the often-disparate impacts of climate change, we can make informed choices and take collective action that transforms outcomes. We’re in this together.”

“We want everyone to have useable and useful information so they can take the smart actions needed to minimize risk to their families, communities, and livelihoods – and that means putting information in the hands of the people. With Allison Crimmins at the helm, the National Climate Assessment is set to do just that,” said OSTP Deputy Director for Climate and Environment Dr. Jane Lubchenco. “Her deep experience in working effectively and collaboratively both within the Federal system and with stakeholders will accelerate the significant progress already underway and help achieve timely advances in our fight against the climate crisis.”

Established by Congress in the Global Change Research Act of 1990, the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGRCP) is tasked with assisting “the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.” As part of that mandate, the USGCRP must deliver National Climate Assessments that “integrate, evaluate, and interpret” findings on environmental changes in the United States, to help the American public better understand, plan for, and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

“I am excited to welcome Allison Crimmins as Director of the Fifth National Climate Assessment,” said USGCRP Executive Director Dr. Michael Kuperberg. “She brings a wealth of assessment experience to the role, from co-authoring previous NCAs and leading the 2016 U.S. Climate and Health Assessment, to publishing studies on improving communication of climate risks. Allison’s leadership will produce a National Climate Assessment that informs the more refined and urgent questions now being posed.”

The National Climate Assessments holistically address the way in which climate change is affecting American’s health, air quality, water, energy, agriculture, fisheries, transportation, and more. It includes dedicated chapters on each geographic region of the U.S. and will focus on ways to reduce climate change risks through adaptation actions and by reducing emissions. 

“Americans deserve accessible information to make critical choices about managing climate risks – that’s why it’s great news that the National Climate Assessment will be significantly ramped up under the able leadership of Allison Crimmins,” said Dr. Marcia McNutt, President of the National Academy of Sciences. “Her expertise in convening voices across the country and the Federal government will help ensure NCA5 is the best yet – both understandable and based on the best possible science.”

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