ICF Climate Impacts, Vulnerability, and Adaptation

Impacts, Risk, and 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 risks, 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 to apply state-of-the-art adaptation practices locally and 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 impacts on ecosystems, economic systems, health, energy, transportation, and other infrastructure
  • Developing decision-support frameworks for addressing climate risks
  • Assessing climate risks and opportunities
  • Evaluating and recommending adaptation options
  • Assessing the adaptation/disaster nexus
  • Enhancing asset management and financial tracking systems to capture costs of extreme weather/climate risks
  • Building the business case for 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 framework.
  • ICF supported the World Bank in the development of a national-level and several sectoral tools to rapidly screen for risks in all Bank investments. These tools are supporting the largest climate risk screening effort ever undertaken, as measured by the value of the investments that are being screened.
  • ICF performed the first multimodal vulnerability assessment of climate risks to transportation assets and services on behalf of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). The pilot study is being conducted in Mobile, Alabama, and is expressly designed to enable transferability of tools and approaches 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 National Park Service (NPS).

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 globally. We have supported five Canadian agencies, the European Commission (EC), and other national-level clients outside the United States. We have led innovative adaptation projects spanning every major sector in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean for development organizations such as the Canadian International Development Agency, World Bank Group, and Asian Development Bank (ADB).


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)
  • Asian Development Bank (ADB)
  • Climate and Development Knowledge Network
  • European Commission (EC)
  • Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery
  • International Climate Fund
  • UK Department for International Development (UK DFID)
  • UK Environment Agency
  • U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • World Bank (WB)
  • Environment Canada
  • Government of Alberta (Canada)
  • Health Canada
  • Natural Resources Canada
  • Transport Canada
U.S. State and Local
  • Alaska State Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (Texas)
  • California Energy Commission
  • California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)
  • City of Benicia, California
  • Los Angeles Metro
  • Marin County, California
  • New York City, New York
  • New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Sonoma County, California
  • Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority
U.S. Federal
  • Armed Forces Retirement Home
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Department of Defense (DOD) 
    • Navy (USN)
    • Office of the Secretary of Defense
  • Department of Energy (DOE)
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • Department of Transportation (USDOT)
    • Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
    • Federal Transit Administration (FTA)
    • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Department of the Interior (DOI)
    • Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)
    • National Park Service (NPS)
  • General Services Administration (GSA)
  • Department of Veteran's Affairs (VA)
Private Sector and Other
  • Airport Cooperative Research Program
  • American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
  • Climate Central
  • International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM)
  • Marian Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences
  • National Confederation of Industry (CNI), Brazil
  • Rare
  • Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC)
  • Project

    Climate Change Adaptation Project Preparation Facility for Asia and the Pacific

    ICF International conducted a midterm performance evaluation of the ADAPT Asia-Pacific project for the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) Regional Development Mission for Asia program.

  • Project

    Support for the U.S. National Climate Assessment

    ICF International has supported a number of activities pertaining to the National Climate Assessment (NCA), including researching and writing technical reports; developing case studies; and planning, facilitating, and participating in working groups, workshops, and meetings.

  • Project

    Building Nigeria's Response to Climate Change

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

  • Project

    Climate Change Risk Assessment and Adaptation Planning

    ICF International conducted climate change risk assessments, increased awareness of climate change impacts, and developed adaptation options and responses for seven Alberta government departments.

  • 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

    Toronto Heat Emergency Trigger Project

    ICF International worked with the City of Toronto, Ontario, to develop a “trigger” to identify when an extended heat emergency should be declared.

  • Integrated Climate and Land Use Scenarios

    Integrated Climate and Land Use Scenarios

    ICF International worked with Colorado State University (CSU) to develop an integrated suite of models to project and map long-term county-level population movements in the United States.

  • Project

    Climate Risk Screening Tools

    ICF International developed a national tool and seven sectoral tools to help the World Bank (WB) meet its mandate to screen for climate risks in its investments.

  • Project

    Assessing the Vulnerability of Older Adults to Climate Change

    ICF International worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to analyze factors that contribute to the sensitivity, exposure, and adaptive capacity of older adult populations in the United States.

  • 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 research, logistical, and editorial support for the development of this Synthesis and Assessment Product (SAP) for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP).

  • Project

    Climate Change Resilient Development

    ICF International supports the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Global Climate Change team by providing technical assistance and analysis for Agency bureaus, field missions, and partner practitioners to implement effective climate change adaptation activities and programs.

  • 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

    Climate Ready Estuaries

    ICF International supported the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the development and management of a climate ready estuaries program.

  • Project

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

    ICF International led this in-depth analysis of climate vulnerabilities in all modes of transportation to a full suite of climate-related hazards.

  • 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

    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

    Interactive 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

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

    ICF International supported the Asian Development Bank (ADB) by mapping climate vulnerability and risk for 10 Asian countries to help them become more resilient to climate change and climate-related hazards such as floods and droughts.

  • 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

    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

    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

    Macedonia Municipal Planning

    ICF International is supporting the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) Climate Change Resilient Development (CCRD) program by providing technical assistance to the Macedonia Municipal Planning Integration Pilot.

  • Project

    Corporate Climate Change Risk Assessment for Health Canada

    ICF International supported a corporate risk assessment of climate change impacts on Health Canada's operations, responsibilities, and mandate.

  • Project

    Electrical Energy Systems Resilience

    ICF International worked with the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) to identify types of climate change risks and impacts occurring at the nexus of energy‐water‐land that electric utilities need to be aware of and plan for.

  • Project

    Integrating Vulnerabilities into Transportation Planning

    ICF International developed the Vulnerability Assessment Scoring Tool (VAST) for the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT).

  • Project

    Adaptation Monitoring and Evaluation

    ICF International contributed to an international workshop on adaptation monitoring and evaluation (M&E), in part, by leading a broad survey of M&E practitioners and articulating key recommendations.

  • Project

    The Amenity Value of Climate

    ICF International conducted a study for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that quantified the relationship between specific climate attributes and property values using a national-level hedonic model to determine which features of climate (temperature, humidity, precipitation) are most important to evaluate.

  • Project

    City Sustainability Planning

    ICF International is helping Philadelphia deepen its understanding of local climate risks, identify opportunities to prepare for those changes, inform the public about risks and adaptation opportunities, and build the capacity of city departments to include climate data in decision making.

  • Project

    Climate-Readiness Communication Guidance

    ICF International supported the Navy Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) in developing communication guidance that provides Navy regions and installations with strategic Navy messaging on climate readiness.

  • Project

    Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery

    ICF International is conducting an impact evaluation of the Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction (GFDRR) programs in Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Eastern Caribbean.

  • Project

    Adapting to Climate Change: A Business Approach

    ICF International described the range of risks and opportunities faced by businesses due to climate change and developed a methodology for screening for climate risk to assist businesses in identifying whether they should perform a detailed risk assessment in the near future.

  • Project

    State Climate Change Adaptation Strategy

    ICF International supported the development of Alaska's climate strategy by providing facilitation and technical support to its adaptation and other technical working groups and assisting in the development and writing of several sections, including the integrated Mitigation and Adaptation Strategy.

  • Project

    Climate Data Processing Tool

    ICF International developed the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) Climate Data Processing Tool for the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT).

  • Project

    Climate Resilient Tool Training and Peer Sharing in Urban Areas

    ICF International is leading the development and deployment of the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) Climate Resilient Infrastructure Services (CRIS) program.

  • Project

    Impacts of Temperature Change on U.S. Electricity Production

    ICF International conducted a detailed analysis of the impacts of temperature change on the U.S. electric power sector to simulate changes in electrical demand and supply in response to a changing climate.

  • Project

    Fast-Track Implementation of Adaptation

    ICF International developed an approach and accompanying tool that accelerates, where possible, the planning and implementation of adaptation actions.

  • Project

    State and Local Climate Change Program Support

    ICF International supports the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in its efforts to help state and local governments develop and implement clean energy and climate change policies.

  • Project

    Local Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Plan

    ICF International is assisting the City of Benicia, California, to assess its vulnerability to extreme heat, sea level rise, and coastal storms and to develop appropriate adaptation measures.

  • Project

    Peer Exchanges

    ICF International has planned and facilitated more than a dozen peer exchanges with state departments of transportation and metropolitan planning organizations on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

  • Project

    Vulnerability Assessment Guide

    ICF International updated the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) Adaptation for Climate Resilient Development, a guidance used by USAID staff and their country partner stakeholders to integrate climate concerns into development and sector planning.

  • Project

    Hazard Mitigation Cost Effectiveness Analysis Support

    ICF International conducted hazard mitigation cost effectiveness (HMCE) analyses for 15 proposed resilience projects intended to reduce SEPTA's vulnerabilities to extreme weather events such as flooding and severe storms.

  • Project

    Species Climate Vulnerability Assessment and Modeling

    ICF International supported the California Energy Commission to perform a climate change vulnerability assessment for species covered by the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan. This assessment included modeling potential distribution shifts in the Mohave ground squirrel under future climate scenarios.

  • Project

    Transportation Engineering Approaches to Climate Resiliency

    ICF International is working with practitioners in transportation agencies across the United States to test methodologies for incorporating climate projections into engineering designs and site plans.

  • Mapping Exposure of Large Energy Infrastructure

    Mapping Exposure of Large Energy Infrastructure to Sea Level Rise and Storm Surge

    ICF International created a methodology for determining exposure of the U.S. coastal energy infrastructure system to sea level rise and storm surge.

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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