You can learn about climate change policy on the regional, national, and international levels at the websites listed below.

» Policy Updates

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Policy Updates    [Top]

  • ATNI Resolution #11 – 77 - Traditional Knowledge and Climate Change
    An outcome from the September 2011 Traditional Knowledge and Climate Change workshop was a draft resolution presented at the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians annual meeting. The resolution was passed and is available at:

  • Energy Concerns Up Front as Obama Seeks Closer Relationship with Tribes
    Tribes have faced bureaucratic obstacles when developing renewable energy projects. The Obama administration is hoping to eliminate such impediments through better consultations with tribes on domestic policies. © 1996-2011 E&E Publishing, LLC, 8/24/11.

  • Tribal Set-Aside Sought in DOI Climate Change Adaptation Initiative
    In 2009, the Department of Interior (DOI) began a Climate Change Adaptation Initiative (Initiative). The Initiative funding of $136 million, in each of the previous years, has been distributed among DOI bureaus; but, to date, no funding has been allocated to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).The National Tribal Environmental Council, in partnership with other organizations, is working on an appropriations request for a 5% set-aside or $8.75 million in the DOI Initiative, for tribes to address and adapt to the impacts of climate change. National Tribal Environmental Council, 8/1/11.

  • US EPA Issues Final Deferral for CO2 Emissions from Bioenergy and Other Biogenic Sources under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Title V
    EPA issued a statement on July 1, 2011 that wastewater treatment plants and other stationary sources will not have to seek greenhouse gas permits for at least three years. EPA announced that more time is needed to determine how to measure the carbon dioxide emitted by new or modified facilities that have biological decomposition of waste or that burn biogas that they collect.

  • Tribal Recommendations for the Fiscal Year 2012 Department of the Interior Climate Change Adaptation Initiative
    Indian tribes are exceedingly vulnerable to and disproportionately impacted by climate change. The Administration has requested $175 million to support the Department of the Interior’s Climate Change Adaptation Initiative in Fiscal Year 2012. Only $200,000 is planned to be available to support tribal involvement. At least $8.75 million is needed and should be provided to enable tribes to substantively participate in the Initiative, assist tribes to adapt to climate change, and help fulfill federal trust responsibilities and treaty obligations. A group of tribal organizations and tribes made recommendations regarding the DOI Climate Change Adaptation Initiative. See Tribal Recommendations and Letter below for more information. May 2011.
    Tribal Recommendations
    Letter to House Appropriations Committee

  • NCAI Recommendations on Climate Change (NCAI)
    The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) prepared this issue paper for the Dec. 16, 2010, Tribal Summit with the President, making the following recommendations: provide tribes with formal consultative roles in developing federal climate change policy; ensure equal access to climate change adaptation funding and programs; and protect and advance the contribution of tribal lifeways to climate change adaptation efforts. December 2010. *

  • The Missing Delegate at Cancún: Indigenous Peoples
    Essay by Dennis Martinez, Chair of the Indigenous Peoples' Restoration Network (IPRN) and Steering Committee member of the Indigenous Peoples' Biocultural Climate Change Assessment Initiative (IPCCA), about Indigenous peoples and their advocates not having an official seat among nations and about the implications of a program called REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation). © 1996-2008 National Geographic Society, 12/8/10. *

  • Resolution: Ensuring Tribal Equity in the Department of Interior’s Climate Change Adaption Initiative (NCAI)
    National Congress of American Indians passed a resolution requesting that the Dept. of Interior’s Climate Change Adaptation Initiative allocation to tribes be increased to a more equitable level, that the perspectives and needs of tribes be incorporated in the initiative and tribes be consulted an all aspects of the initiative, and that the initiative’s regional planning groups include representation from tribes. November 2010. *
    NCAI Resolution—Tribes and DOI Climate Change Adaptation Initiative

  • EPA Finalized Rules to Foster Safe Carbon Storage Technology
    On November 22, the US EPA finalized two rules related to the capture and sequestration of carbon dioxide. Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies have the potential to enable large emitters of carbon dioxide, such as coal fired power plants, to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This technology allows carbon dioxide to be captured at stationary sources like power plants and large industrial operations and injected underground for long-term storage in a process called geologic sequestration. The new rules aim to protect drinking water and to track the amount of carbon dioxide that is sequestered from facilities that carry out geologic sequestration. *
    Geologic sequestration rule:
    Greenhouse gas reporting final rule:

  • The Importance of Climate Change Policies in Tribal Communities (NTAA)
    Article by the National Tribal Air Association gives an overview of a presentation given by Dr. Joel Scheraga and Peter Mulvaney at the 2010 State-EPA Innovation Symposium, about climate change adaptation and mitigation and the importance of Tribal communities in both Alaska and in the lower 48 to take action on climate change and to both preserve and protect their cultural resources. 11/7/10. *

  • EPA Scrutinized for Its Regulation of Greenhouse Gases and other Air Pollutants (NTAA)
    Article by the National Tribal Air Association gives overview of a letter sent by several congressional members to US EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson regarding the increasing costs to the economy as a result of the growing number of US EPA regulations, including those focused on GHG emissions, that are being proposed by the Agency under the Clean Air Act. 10/17/10. *

  • Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force Progress Report
    The report outlines recommendations to President Obama for how Federal Agency policies and programs can better prepare the United States to respond to the impacts of climate change. One of the recommendations is to build strong partnerships to support local, state, and tribal decision makers in improving management of places and infrastructure most likely to be affected by climate change. 10/5/10.

  • Efforts by EPA to Control and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions Remain Strong (NTAA)
    Article by the National Tribal Air Association gives overview of efforts on the part of the USEPA to effectuate positive controls and reductions of GHG emissions. Some of the Agency’s plans, particularly those associated with the air program, have already begun to move forward whereas others are scheduled to go into effect at late as 2016. Some of the activities being taken by the EPA to control and reduce GHG emissions will have direct effects on the activities of Indian Tribes whereas others will not. 9/7/10.

  • Tribal Principles for Climate Legislation (NTEC, NARF, NWF, NCAI)
    Lists nine principles that need to be included in climate legislation. 3/12/09.
    Tribal Principles for Climate Legislation

Websites    [Top]

  • National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy
    In response to increasing impacts of climate change and other stressors on America’s natural resources, the US Congress has called for the development of a national, government-wide strategy to safeguard fish, wildlife, plants, and the natural systems upon which they depend. The National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy is currently being developed with input from a broad range of federal, state, and tribal partners, with active engagement with non-government organizations, industry groups, and private landowners.

  • Tribal Climate Change Policy Events (Sustainable Northwest)
    The USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, the University of Oregon's Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program, the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics and Sustainable Northwest hosted events in the Fall of 2009 aimed at building knowledge about climate change policy and fostering dialogue about the needs and opportunities for Native American tribes in the Pacific Northwest to engage in climate change policy, planning and action. A webcast, presentations and meeting materials are available at the website. *

  • Climate Change Adaptation is the federal government's home for comprehensive environmental stewardship and compliance assistance information. FedCenter added a new topic to its program area lineup - Climate Change Adaptation. This area includes the latest guidance and information resources to help federal agencies facilitate climate adaptation planning, and contains valuable information for a broad range of users.

  • US EPA's Tribal Consultation Opportunity Tracking System (TCOTS)
    EPA developed the Tribal Consultation Opportunity Tracking System (TCOTS), which publicizes upcoming and current EPA consultation opportunities for tribal governments. TCOTS allows users to view and sort information, and to submit comments on a tribal consultation. TCOTS is a key feature of EPA’s new Consultation and Coordination Policy with Indian Tribes that was released by Administrator Jackson on May 4, 2011. The goal of TCOTS is to provide early notification and transparency on EPA consultations with tribal governments.

  • US EPA Regulatory Initiatives (US EPA)
    EPA has issued regulatory actions under the Clean Air Act and in some cases other statutory authorities to address issues related to climate change. Website has list of these actions along with links to pages with more information.

  • National Tribal Air Association (NTAA)
    NTAA advances air quality management policies and programs, consistent with the needs, interests, and unique legal status of American Indian Tribes and Alaska Natives. Website has a page on climate change, with documents and information on climate change legislation, and also has an online forum on climate change.

  • National Tribal Environmental Council (NTEC)
    NTEC works with tribes in the protection and preservation of tribal environments. Website has information about climate change legislation.

  • Weathering Change: Policy Reforms that Save Money and Make Communities Safer (American Rivers)
    Climate change is fundamentally altering where and when water is available, and federal policy must adapt to this new reality. Report analyzes ten areas of federal policy and examines how existing laws and regulations promote or fail to promote resilience to a more volatile and uncertain climate. Provides a policy roadmap for reforming existing policies and practices that make people and wildlife more vulnerable to floods, droughts, and other effects of climate change. These reforms will improve the reliability of water supplies, save money, benefit the environment, and provide communities with more flexibility to respond to climate change in the future. American Rivers ©2011.

  • Video: The Story of Cap and Trade
    Using cartoon format, Annie Leonard critiques cap and trade proposals being discussed at Copenhagen and on Capitol Hill. 10 min.

  • Audio: Helping the Prez, Greening the Rez (NPR-Living on Earth)
    Interview with Winona LaDuke about green policy statement representing more than 200 tribes and tribal organizations. Jan. 16, 2009.

  • Tribes, Climate Change, and Solutions: Resources/ Solutions (National Wildlife Federation)

  • Policy Solutions (National Wildlife Federation)

  • Western Climate Initiative
    Seven US states and four Canadian provinces are collaborating to monitor and regulate greenhouse gas emissions as a region. They are seeking to start a cap and trade emissions-trading program.

  • Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)
    Policy on international, federal and state levels

  • Georgetown Climate Center
    The nonpartisan Georgetown Climate Center (GCC)seeks to advance effective climate policies in the United States – policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, help communities adapt to climate change, and bridge the gap between climate and transportation planning. The GCC provides news, legislative tracking, and analysis regarding federal policies’ effect on states. It works with states and territories to inform national efforts through the sharing of best practices, innovative policies, and lessons learned from their experiences. It will soon have an adaptation clearinghouse – an online database that will help policymakers and others more easily locate and share adaptation resources and tools throughout the country.

  • US Climate Policy and Actions (US EPA)

  • National Water Program Strategy: Response to Climate Change (US EPA Office of Water)
    Provides overview of likely effects of climate change on water resources and the nation’s clean water and safe drinking water programs. Describes 40 specific actions the National Water Program intends to take to adapt program implementation in light of climate change.

  • Global Warming and Climate Change Policy Websites (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)
    List of websites related to climate change policy.

  • US Climate Change Policy (World Resources Institute)

  • Policy Solutions (National Resources Defense Council)

  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
    Policy on international level

  • Indigenous Climate Portal
    Portal provides links to international climate talks, conferences, resources, and information about REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation). *

Reports and Other Documents    [Top]
  • 'Stationarity is Dead'—Long Live Transformation: Five Principles for Climate Adaptation Law
    Article argues for a principled flexibility model of climate change adaptation law to pursue goals of increasing the resilience and adaptive capacity of socioecological systems. It lays out five principles and several subprinciples for the law of environmental regulation and natural resource management. It also strongly suggests that climate change adaptation law must promote informed and principled flexibility when dealing with climate change impacts, especially impacts that affect baseline ecological conditions such as temperature and hydrology, while simultaneously embracing an unyielding commitment to precautionary regulation when dealing with everything else. Harvard Environmental Law Review, Vol. 34, No. 1, pp. 9-75, 2010.

  • A Guide for Tribal Leaders on U.S. Climate Change Programs (University of Oregon Environmental Studies Program and USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station)
    This guide summarizes key U.S. government programs addressing climate change, opportunities for tribal engagement and contacts for each agency. In addition to its immediate value to tribes and their partners, this information will provide important groundwork for research on understanding and improving the tribal consultation processes in the context of climate change. This guide also begins to include tribal, academic and non-governmental agencies and programs to assist tribes in addressing climate change. The guide will be updated frequently; if you would like to edit the information for an organization included in the document or submit information for additional organizations, please contact Kathy Lynn at

  • Guide For Tribal Governments: Proposed Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Rule (US EPA)
    2-page guide includes purpose of rule, how rule would affect tribes, how tribal governments would be involved, and how the rule would be implemented. June 2009.
    Tribal Govt Guide 6-1-09

News    [Top]

  • Marten Law News (Marten Law)
    Marten Law is a large environmental and energy law firm in the West. They provide a free newsletter that has lots of good environmental legal and policy information on climate change and other issues. You can subscribe at the News and Events page of their website.*

  • The Daily Climate
    Daily compilation of news about climate change from mainstream media sources around the world. See "Politics" section.

  • Climate Wire

* This item was added to the website with support from the US Forest Service and Sustainable Northwest.

©2002 Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals & Northern Arizona University
Last updated: June 21, 2012