Climate Change: Improved Federal Coordination Could Facilitate Use of Forward-Looking Climate Information in Design Standards, Building Codes, and Certifications, Report to the Honorable Matthew Cartwright, House of Representatives [open pdf - 2MB]
"Over the last decade, extreme weather cost the federal government more than $320 billion for, among other things, repairs to federal infrastructure, and according to the President's 2017 budget request, these costs may rise as the climate continues to change. GAO's [Government Accountability Office] prior work found that using the best available climate information, including forward-looking projections, can help manage climate-related risks. Federal, state, local, and private decision makers use design standards, building codes, and voluntary certifications in the construction of infrastructure. Standards-developing organizations, such as professional engineering societies, issue standards, model codes, and certifications. GAO was asked to review the use of forward-looking climate information by standards-developing organizations. This report examines (1) what is known about the use of such information in standards, codes, and certifications; (2) challenges standards organizations face to using climate information; and (3) actions federal agencies have taken to address such challenges and additional actions they could take. GAO analyzed laws and policies, reviewed reports, and interviewed representatives from 17 selected organizations and officials from agencies that address climate issues. GAO recommends that NIST [National Institute of Standards and Technology], in consultation with USGCRP [United States Global Change Research Program] and MitFLG [Mitigation Framework Legal Group], convene an ongoing government-wide effort to provide forward-looking climate information to standards organizations. Commerce neither agreed nor disagreed with GAO's recommendation"
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/