ICF Climate Impacts, Vulnerability, and Adaptation

Impacts, Risk, + Adaptation

ICF International helps decision makers understand the risks posed by climate change and develop adaptation solutions.



ICF works with public- and private-sector clients around the globe to evaluate climate change impacts, develop adaptation strategies, promote climate-resilient decision-making, and build capacity to manage climate risks. We leverage our experience and knowledge gained from years of pioneering work with U.S. federal agencies to apply state-of-the-art adaptation practices worldwide.

Our clients include multinational companies and organizations, federal agencies, state and local agencies, metropolitan planning organizations, and international funding institutions. ICF applies deep sectoral and broad geographic experience to today's complex adaptation challenges, with our multidisciplinary teams bringing extensive knowledge of environmental, energy, transportation, human health, and other sectors to this cross-cutting issue.

Our adaptation services include:

  • Evaluating climate change impacts on ecosystems, economic systems, human health, infrastructure, and operations
  • Developing decision-support frameworks for addressing climate risks
  • Assessing climate vulnerabilities, risks, and opportunities
  • Evaluating adaptation options
  • Mainstreaming climate risk management into existing activities
  • Engaging stakeholders through pilot programs, workshops, and outreach

Our decades of experience in climate impacts and adaptation are marked by a series of firsts:

  • ICF developed the first U.S. federal agency adaptation framework—for the Federal Highway Administration—and provided technical assistance to the first transportation adaptation pilots as they implemented the conceptual model.

  • ICF is performing the first multimodal vulnerability assessment of climate risks to transportation assets and services on behalf of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The pilot study is being conducted in Mobile, Alabama, and is expressly designed to enable transferability of tools and approaches to counties across the United States.

  • ICF helped the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launch its first adaptation program, Climate Ready Estuaries.

  • ICF developed the first climate risk screening tool for park infrastructure for the U.S. National Park Service.

Globally, ICF supports the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Climate Change Office in providing technical assistance and analysis for agency bureaus, field missions, and partner practitioners to implement climate change adaptation programs.  We have led innovative adaptation projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean, covering every major sector, for development organizations such as the Canadian International Development Agency, World Bank Group, and Asian Development Bank.


Featured Resources

  • Physical, ecological, and social vulnerability and risk assessment—ICF’s impacts and adaptation expertise spans all sectors influenced by climate change, including the built environment, agriculture, forestry, human health, coastal resources, recreation, sensitive ecosystems, and water resources.

  • Economic, technical, and policy analysis—ICF has decades of experience in conducting analyses for a broad range of public and private clients at local to international scales.

  • Decision support—ICF provides the climate and socioeconomic data, capacity building and training, software and decision tools, and frameworks that planners need to respond and adapt to climate change.

  • Climate risk management strategy development—ICF uses science and economics to help clients identify and prioritize cost-effective adaptation strategies in anticipation of climate change.

  • GIS mapping and modeling—ICF has an experienced Geographic Information Systems (GIS) lab to support technical analyses, including developing maps and models that help represent climate change scenarios and identify potential vulnerabilities.

  • Training and technical assistance—ICF works with local stakeholders to build their capacity to assess and manage climate risks.

  • Multisector and multidonor coordination—ICF is adept at forging public-private partnerships, adapting the best tools and financing options.

  • Outreach, communications, and workshop support—ICF supports the communication of climate change impacts and adaptation opportunities through website and brochure development, as well as workshop, webinar, and peer exchange facilitation.

  • Programmatic support—ICF provides the expertise and manpower to quickly and effectively design, implement, and integrate programs that are responsive to the needs of the target audience, build capacity, transparently demonstrate best practices, and leverage available tools and resources to maximize efficiency and long-term success.

  • Monitoring and evaluation—ICF has extensive experience in program evaluation and performance measurement.
  • African Development Bank (AfDB)
  • Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Asian Development Bank
  • California Energy Commission
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 
  • European Commission
  • Marian Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences
  • UK Department for International Development (UK DFID)
  • UK Environment Agency
  • U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)
    • Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
    • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
  • U.S. National Park Service (NPS)
  • Project

    Developing an Adaptation Framework

    For the Federal Highway Administration, ICF created a model framework for incorporating climate change impacts on highway infrastructure into all aspects of the transportation decision lifecycle.

  • Project

    Support for Impacts of Climate Change and Variability on Transportation Systems and Infrastructure - Gulf Coast Study, Phase 2

    ICF International is performing the largest federal adaptation pilot project in the United States, which is being undertaken in the Mobile Bay area. ICF uses state-of-the-art climate model output and storm surge modeling, together with high-resolution transportation information in a GIS framework, to assess vulnerabilities of transportation infrastructure to climate change.

  • Integrated Climate and Land Use Scenarios

    Integrated Climate and Land Use Scenarios

    ICF International, along with Colorado State University, is assisting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with an analysis of projected land use implications of a series of demographic scenarios through 2100. The demographic scenarios are aligned with assumptions in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Emission Scenarios.

  • Project

    Toronto Heat Emergency Trigger Project

    ICF is working with the City of Toronto, Ontario, to develop a “trigger” to identify when an extended heat emergency should be declared. The aim is to facilitate a more robust community-wide response commensurate with the level of risk of deep and prolonged heat waves.

  • Project

    Climate Screening Tool

    ICF International is developing guidance and a screening tool for the National Park Service to help characterize park vulnerability to climate change.

  • Project

    Development of Climate Change Website

    ICF International is working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to redesign and update the content of EPA’s climate change website.

  • Project

    Climate Change Risk Assessment and Adaptation Options for Alberta

    ICF is conducting climate change risk assessments, increasing awareness of climate change impacts, and developing adaptation options and responses for seven Alberta government departments.

  • Project

    Asia Regional Environmental Field Support (AREFS)

    ICF International worked with International Resources Group and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to assist Asia and Middle East missions in planning, implementation, and evaluation of programs implemented under USAID's Global Climate Change Initiative.

  • Climate Ready Estuaries Program

    Climate Ready Estuaries Program

    ICF International supported the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's first adaptation program, Climate Ready Estuaries. The program has worked with the National Estuary Program since 2007 to assess the vulnerability of estuaries to climate change impacts, to develop and implement adaptation programs in coastal areas, and to educate stakeholders about climate change impacts.

  • Project

    Support for Climate Change Exhibit

    ICF International helped develop the content for a new climate change exhibit for the Marian Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences.

  • Project

    Climate Change Resilient Development

    ICF International is providing support to the U.S. Agency for International Development in providing technical assistance and analysis for USAID bureaus, field missions, and partner practitioners to implement effective climate change adaptation activities and programs.

  • Project

    Assessing the Vulnerability of Older Americans to Climate Change

    ICF International is currently working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Center for Environmental Assessment to analyze factors that contribute to the sensitivity, exposure, and adaptive capacity of older adult populations in the United States and to outline an agenda for action that includes research, adaptation, and communication.

  • Project

    Assessment of Climate Change Impacts to the Electric Power Industry

    ICF is conducting a detailed analysis of the impacts of temperature change on the U.S. electric power industry.

  • Project

    Support for the U.S. National Climate Assessment

    ICF has been involved in a variety of activities supporting the National Climate Assessment, including researching and writing technical reports, developing case studies, and participating in working groups, workshops, and meetings.

  • Project

    Climate Ready Estuaries Vulnerability Assessments

    ICF International worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Research and Development and Climate Ready Estuaries Partners to assess vulnerabilities for the Massachusetts Bays Program and the San Francisco Estuary Partnership.

  • Project

    Valuation of Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation

    For the U.S. Global Change Research Program and the National Climate Assessment, ICF International assisted in developing a workshop: “Valuation Techniques and Metrics for Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation, and Mitigation Options: Methodological Perspectives for the National Climate Assessment.”

  • Project

    Integrated Climate and Disaster Vulnerability Assessment and Risk Mapping - Asian Development Bank

    ICF International is supporting the Asian Development Bank in mapping climate vulnerability and risk for 10 Asian countries.

  • Project

    Petroleum Terminal Resilience

    ICF International is working with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to develop a thorough study of the petroleum terminal infrastructure in New York State.

  • Project

    Malawi Climate Adaptation for Rural Livelihoods and Agriculture Project

    ICF improved agriculture and rural livelihoods in Malawi with cost-effective adaptation and developed Malawi’s adaptation strategy and investment plan.

  • Project

    Building Nigeria’s National Response to Climate Change (BNRCC)

    Working with local counterparts, ICF is enhancing Nigeria’s resilience, reducing poverty, and promoting resources management using stakeholder engagement, community pilots, and a mainstream adaptation strategy.

  • Preliminary Review of Adapation Options for Climate Sensitive Ecosystems and Resources

    Synthesis and Assessment Product 4.4: Preliminary Review of Adaptation Options for Climate-Sensitive Ecosystems and Resources

    ICF International provided extensive logistical, editorial, and programmatic support for the development of this Synthesis and Assessment Product for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program. This report provides an authoritative, national-scale assessment of the current state of knowledge regarding climate change impacts and adaptation options for climate-sensitive ecosystems.

Contact Info

info [at] icfi [dot] com

+1.703.934.3603 or +1.800.532.4783

9300 Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA 22031-1207 USA

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