2022 Federal Priority

Climate Change

2022 Legislative Priorities -- Climate

Planning plays a significant role in both climate change mitigation and adaptation. Two of the largest contributors of greenhouse gases — transportation and buildings — are influenced by planning decisions and policies. When planning leads the way on local climate action, communities reduce cost, create jobs, and keep communities strong and together.

While planners helped secure landmark outcomes on climate change through transportation legislation last year, more must be done at the federal level to amplify local planning efforts.

Opportunities for Action

Planners are doing the work to address climate change but need additional federal guidance, tools, and support. Specifically, we call on the Biden Administration and Congress to:

  • Establish infrastructure rules and performance measurements that support planning — The new surface transportation law makes historic progress on climate policy by incorporating climate change programs for the first time. Better integration of climate goals and measurement in planning and project selection will be critical. Good planning should form the foundation of any new climate and resilience program established in the bipartisan infrastructure law.
  • Boost policy support and guidance for Smart Cities and innovation legislation — While the surface transportation law includes new support for cleaner transportation options, more federal support is needed to plan for emerging technologies and innovations with the potential to change development patterns and reduce emissions. Opportunities to bolster support for electric vehicle infrastructure planning, improvement of building codes, and local net zero planning efforts will be critical.
  • Provide new tools and resources to communities disproportionately impacted by climate — Protecting our most vulnerable communities through environmental justice policies is at the core of successfully tackling climate change for planners. This year, the Administration must act on its commitment to advance initiatives that direct and measure federal benefits flowing to disadvantaged communities and provide new tools and better data for communities seeking to understand the spatial implications for climate and economic justice.
  • Prioritize hazard mitigation funding and reform — Federal standards and support for hazards must continue to evolve toward a focus on pre-disaster mitigation, stronger resiliency in federal investments, interagency coordination, and improved standards in post-disaster redevelopment.
  • Ensure regulations support climate goals and good planning — Planners urge the Administration to reconsider changes made to the National Environment Policy Act under the previous Administration, advance the Army Corps of Engineers cost benefit analysis, and integrate a 'social cost of carbon' standard across federal agencies.

Planning and Climate Change

How to Overcome Local Pushback on Climate Action

From cost-benefit analyses to "climate ambassadors," learn how planners are bringing communities together to transcend political differences and take meaningful action on climate change. (Planning Magazine)

Centering Equity and Climate Action in COVID Recovery

COVID-19 recovery offers communities a chance to reinvent themselves to be stronger, more equitable and more resilient. Hear how one city council adopted a resolution that explicitly draws a connection between equity, climate, and COVID-19 recovery. (APA Podcast)

Cascading Hazards with Dr. Michael Greenberg

Cascading hazards occur when an initial disaster triggers subsequent hazards throughout a community. Hear how planners are helping their communities prepare for - and mitigate against - cascading hazards at the local, state, and federal level. (APA Podcast)

Climate Advocacy in Action

APA Signs On to Support Federal Resilience Hub Legislation

APA joins the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, US Resiliency Council and other national organizations in endorsing the bipartisan Community Disaster Resilience Zone Act of 2022 which would authorize the President to provide designated areas with assistance and funding for pre-disaster mitigation planning.

APA Statement on COP26

APA President Leo Asuncion, AICP, emphasizes the role of planners in helping communities implement solutions to meet climate goals and a new zero emission future.

President Biden's Executive Order on Climate Change, Explained

President Biden began his term with an executive order on climate change that includes changes directly affecting the work of local and regional planners. Here's what you need to know.

APA Urges US House Leaders to Consider Resilient AMERICA Act

APA joins with national organizations to request Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy take up new legislation which would build on resilience progress made in the bipartisan infrastructure law and provide additional tools to reduce risks posed by a changing climate.

Climate Change Policy Guide

Cover of APA Climate Change Policy Guide.


APA members issue climate policy guidance to federal and state decision makers and communities. Read this authoritative policy guidance to federal, state, and local officials on climate change.