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Considering the Role of Government in Communicating Climate Change: Lessons from the US Public Flood Insurance Program

Chapter
Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to discuss the United States public flood insurance and disaster relief programs in the context of current policies that influence current and future policy goals related to climate change. The methodology employed is a case study approach that looks at the historical development of current public flood insurance and disaster relief policy and then places that history in the context of recent and current stated policy goals of mitigating future impacts of climate change. This history is then compared to current understandings of how policy develops, specifically how exiting policies can frustrate new policy directions, which is discussed under the context of climate change communication. The goal is to highlight the importance of looking at the whole of government actions when attempting to incorporate climate change into the public discourse. The critical lesson from this case study is to understand how existing government policies can create incentives that influence perceptions of risk related to climate change, and thus complicate the development of new policy directions. In this example of US public flood insurance and disaster relief, historical treatments of climate-related risk need to be considered when attempting to communicate new understandings of climate change risk.

Keywords

Climate change Risk communication Public flood insurance Sea-level rise 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public PolicyUniversity of Massachusetts DartmouthDartmouthUSA

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