Climate Change

As a coastal state vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, the need for Rhode Island to take bold action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for coming impacts is clear. Although climate change presents us with formidable challenges, we also face an unprecedented opportunity to capitalize on technology advances, industry growth opportunities, and innovation solutions to lower our carbon footprint and consider a multitude of adaptation measures to protect Rhode Island. It is possible for Rhode Island to achieve climate change goals, while unlocking economic opportunity and improving the environmental and public health of our citizens and communities.

Read an overview of RI’s major initiates to combat climate change. These major initiatives are regularly discussed by the Rhode Island Executive Climate Change Coordinating Council (RIEC4), which has been Chaired by DEM Director Janet Coit since 2014. The RIEC4 was created by the passage of the Resilient Rhode Island Act in 2014.

In 2018, Rhode Island produced its first comprehensive climate preparedness strategy, Resilient Rhody. Resilient Rhody is about actions we can take to protect our infrastructure and our natural resources, strengthen our economy, preserve the health of our environment, and keep Rhode Islanders safe. It’s also about strengthening collaboration between state agencies, municipalities, and communities groups across Rhode Island.

DEM has developed a Strategic Plan (FY 2019-FY 2022) to guide our work over the next several years. Climate change is a key component of our agency’s work as we take action to counter climate change and its effects, both locally and regionally. The plan is designed to outline a clear direction for us to achieve our mission as we continue to grow, innovate, and improve as a Department.

We encourage RI residents to visit our state’s climate page website at This website serves as the State of Rhode Island’s primary portal for information and resources on climate change and resiliency. It houses resources for a variety of audiences including RI citizens, state agencies, municipalities, non-profit organizations, and the business community. It also contains RI’s first climate change dashboard which highlights a handful of key metrics in our fight against climate change.

View trends on Rhode Island's climate at the Rhode Island State Climate Office webpage.