Understanding the Terms Associated with Climate Change Preparedness
Climate Action Plan - A Climate Action Plan proposes data-driven actions and strategies to achieve the identified greenhouse gas reduction targets. This document will be designed to achieve greenhouse gas reductions in ways that improve quality of life, spur economic growth, and improve resilience for residents and future generations.
Climate Adaptation Plan - This document will outline the intended alterations to Louisville’s systems in response to actual or anticipated climate change. It will cover the services and departments directly managed by Louisville Metro Government and may also consider the actions required by other stakeholders.
Greenhouse Gas Inventory - A Greenhouse Gas (GHG) inventory is a community-wide count of the emissions released in Louisville or as a result of the activities occuring in Louisville. Greenhouse gases are pollutants that cause the global greenhouse gas effect which produces climate change. According to the EPA, "Worldwide, net emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities increased by 35 percent from 1990 to 2010. Emissions of carbon dioxide, which account for about three-fourths of total emissions, increased by 42 percent over this period. As with the United States, the majority of the world’s emissions result from electricity generation, transportation, and other forms of energy production and use."
Hazards Reporting - Louisville will develop a list of the current and future climate hazards that Louisville faces. These hazards will be categorized within the following categories: meteorological, climatological, hydrological, geophysical, and biological. Examples may include floods, tornados and heat waves.
Hazard Mitigation Plan - The purpose of the Louisville Metro Hazard Mitigation Plan is to set a strategy for building a more resilient community that will mitigate damages and losses caused by hazard events. The plan is the result of a systematic evaluation of the nature and extent of the vulnerability posed by the effects of hazards (risk assessment) and includes a five-year action plan to minimize future vulnerability (mitigation strategy), accompanied by a schedule that outlines a method for monitoring and evaluating plan progress (plan maintenance). Louisville is required to update its Hazard Mitigation Plan every give years to be eligible for FEMA funding following disasters.
Resilience Strategy - This document is a concrete action plan that outlines projects and initiatives specifically tailored to the city’s strengths and vulnerabilities. This Strategy gives the city a strong foundation to build resilience and triggers action: spurring coordination, integration, prioritization, and resilience thinking; connecting the city to private sector solution providers that will help them address their challenges, and signaling to the market what additional tools need to be created; and establishing an ongoing global practice of resilience.
Vulnerability Assessment - This exercise is a qualitative or quantitative assessment of the degree to which Louisville is susceptible to, or unable to cope with, adverse effects of climate change, including climate variability and extremes. This assessment will also include an analysis of Louisville's ability to respond effectively, looking specifically at the economy, natural environmental systems, governance, social support systems and technology.
Still Confused? Here's a list of differences and similarities between these exercises – The practice of identifying and reporting hazards for the Global Covenant of Mayors (Hazards Reporting) focuses on climate-related hazards identified by the categories listed in the definition above. While Hazards Reporting, the Resilience Strategy and the Hazards Mitigation Plan address potential hazards, the Resilience Strategy is more comprehensive in that it clearly identifies social and economic stresses and shocks. Examples of shocks and stresses not included in a Hazard Mitigation Plan include overpopulation, poor education, poor health, and poverty (all stresses), and an economic crises, a cyber attack, a disease outbreak or civil unrest (all shocks). Examples of hazards addressed in both plans include tornados, severe winter weather, flooding, earthquakes, and hazardous material spills (all shocks).