Vol. 31 Iss. 24 - July 27, 2015



Extension of the Governor's Climate Change and Resiliency Update Commission

Importance of the Issue

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has identified some Virginia coastal areas as among the most vulnerable to sea level rise in the nation, and the U.S. Navy Task Force Climate Change has identified Naval Station Norfolk as one of its most endangered installations. The Chesapeake Bay is particularly susceptible to damage caused by climate change. While Virginia has taken certain steps to mitigate the effects of climate change, it is imperative that the Commonwealth redouble its efforts in the face of this looming problem.

In 2008, Governor Kaine established the Governor's Commission on Climate Change to address these concerns. The Commission's final report outlined the impact that changing weather conditions have on Virginia's built environment, natural systems, and the health of its citizens. Among the findings was the decline or disappearance of key species of the Chesapeake Bay, increased damage from more frequent and severe storms, and the spread of vector born diseases like West Nile virus. The report also made over 150 recommendations to help Virginia adapt to the consequences of climate change, as well as reduce Virginia's contributions to the problem.

Extension of the Commission

On July 1, 2014, I convened the Governor's Climate Change and Resiliency Update Commission ("Commission") to review, update, and prioritize the recommendations of the 2008 Climate Change Action Plan. This updated report will work to identify sources of revenue to fund the implementation of these recommendations. Pursuant to § 2.2-135(C) of the Code of Virginia, I hereby reissue Executive Order Nineteen (2014) as Executive Order Forty-Five (2015), and extend the Commission's work for an additional year.

Composition of the Commission

The Governor's Climate Change and Resiliency Update Commission membership will remain as currently constituted.

The Governor may appoint any other member(s) deemed necessary to carry out the assigned functions of the Commission and the members shall serve at his pleasure.

Staff support for the Commission will be provided by the Offices of the Secretary of Natural Resources, the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, the Secretary of Transportation, the Secretary of Commerce and Trade, the Department of Environmental Quality, the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, the Office of the Governor, and other agencies as may be designated by the Governor. The estimated direct cost of the Commission is $5,000. All executive branch agencies shall cooperate fully with the Commission and provide any assistance necessary, upon request of the Commission or its staff.

Duties of the Commission

The Commission is charged with conducting an assessment of the recommendations from the 2008 Climate Change Action Plan. Specifically, the Commission will:

• Determine which recommendations from the original report were implemented;

• Update and prioritize the recommendations; and,

Identify sources of funding to support the implementation of the recommendations.

The Commission shall submit a report with its updated recommendations by September 30, 2015.

Effective Date of the Order

This Executive Order shall be effective upon its signing and, pursuant to §§ 2.2-134 and 2.2-135 of the Code of Virginia, shall remain in force and effect for a year or until superseded or rescinded.

Given under my hand and under the Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia, this 1st day of July, 2015.

/s/ Terence R. McAuliffe