What is SCAN?:
Cities and States are among those on the frontlines of climate change. Many are grappling with what they can do to limit their own climate pollution and to recover from and prepare for impacts. This process requires considering how available options affect their communities and other objectives.
There are resources to help. But it is often challenging for users to select the right information and apply it appropriately. For example, the National Climate Assessments provide essential information on vulnerabilities and risks. Researchers and professional communities are developing new data, models, and tools. Which are appropriate for a community’s unique locale and problem? How can the information be used in implementing decisions, for example benefit-cost analysis or engineering design?
The Science for Climate Action Network (SCAN) is addressing challenges such as these. The goal is not to support any one jurisdiction, but to encourage collaborative learning and create consensus on tested practices across a range of settings. It will help leaders and citizens to apply science in flexible, ongoing way to weigh tradeoffs and co-benefits and select adaptation and mitigation pathways that increase resilience and preparedness.
How will SCAN work?
SCAN brings together different types of expertise – scientific and applied – to evaluate how to use what we know to make and implement better decisions. SCAN will organize collaborative learning and assessment processes focused on challenges such as managing wildfires, planning renewable and resilient energy systems, and incorporating climate risk in economic planning. It will identify information required to make, implement, and monitor decisions, and then conduct technical assessments of the quality and usability of scientific methods and data to provide the needed information.
SCAN will serve as a backbone organization for information “user” and “producer” communities, reinforcing their efforts and articulating a collective agenda of solutions-oriented science and assessments. SCAN is committed to supporting the needs of marginalized and particularly vulnerable communities.
SCAN will build on ongoing federal investments in research and National Climate Assessments, which are essential for increasing and applying knowledge to manage climate risk.
SCAN has the elements for a self-sustaining business model but it urgently needs resources to begin its work.