Texas A&M University and its partners developed a Climate Vulnerability Index to help drive better decisions in vulnerable communities.
Texas A&M University, the Environmental Defense Fund and Darkhorse Analytics partnered to develop the climate vulnerability index (CVI), a tool designed to help policymakers implement more effective solutions. The index combines data from health, socioeconomic, environment and infrastructure as well as identifying areas with poor healthcare and affordable housing concerns.
…the CVI gives planners, local government, federal agencies, non-profit organizations, research teams, and more a means to take action and define where investments are needed most to protect vulnerable communities against climate impacts, including decision-making, policy development, resource allocation, preparedness planning, and community-level environmental action planning and advocacy. It also provides community-based organizations access to actionable data that can help them take advantage of grant opportunities for reducing disparities in their communities and advocate for increased action and funding.
Previous data resources aimed at helping communities understand their climate change risk may fall short because they simply locate vulnerable areas without showing what factors contribute to those weak conditions. The climate vulnerability index, however, helps state and local officials identify “the most important sources creating those vulnerabilities … to help prioritize resources and decentralize solutions so communities can get the resources that are tailored to their particular challenges.”
The tool overlaps nicely with Maryland’s push to highlight environmental justice and direct more investment into communities that need it most. As a state with some of the most diverse geography and one largely shaped by its coastline, the CVI can assist counties in making more informed decisions around investment, infrastructure, and programming.