September 13, 2023
Conference Paper

Decarbonization in Climate Resilience Planning


Recent executive orders such as E.O. 14008 require federal agencies to address climate change by enhancing resilience and reducing emissions through decarbonization. Traditionally, federal agencies require their sites to develop preparedness plans, such as continuity of operations plans and/or more comprehensive resilience plans. When climate change is included in these plans, the focus tends to be on climate adaptation solutions such as hardening infrastructure and not on climate mitigation through decarbonization. However, with the ambitious emission reductions targets set out by the federal government, it is essential to provide resources and tools to support energy and water managers in achieving decarbonization goals. To achieve this, there is a need for decarbonization to be incorporated into existing resilience planning processes. We discuss a method of incorporating a decarbonization analysis into an existing resilience planning process to create a holistic framework that considers climate adaptation, climate mitigation, and risk reduction priorities when developing and prioritizing solutions for federal sites. Site managers and decision makers must be aware of potential opportunities and trade-offs in meeting energy and water performance goals, emission reductions goals, and climate adaptation goals when developing technological, operational, or institutional resilience solutions. By combining these processes, energy and water managers can minimize the additional level of effort to ensure that their sites are not only able to withstand climate-related energy and water disruptions, but also contribute to climate mitigation. A holistic approach can help federal agencies serve as a model for incorporating decarbonization strategies into site-level resilience planning for the rest of the nation.

Published: September 13, 2023


Elliott D.B., H.S. Rabinowitz, A. Delgado, and J.A. Rotondo. 2022. Decarbonization in Climate Resilience Planning. In ACEEE 2022 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings, August 21-26, 2022, Pacific Grove, CA, 11-120 - 11-135. Washington, District Of Columbia:American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. PNNL-SA-171015.

Research topics