EPA scientist to lead national climate review

By Kelsey Brugger | 07/13/2021 12:50 PM EST

The White House today announced a new lead for the National Climate Assessment. Francis Chung/E&E News

The White House science office announced today that Allison Crimmins will lead the next mammoth report on climate change.

The fifth National Climate Assessment is expected to be released in 2023 and stands to be more expansive than past editions, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) said in a statement today.

Crimmins has been a scientist at EPA’s air office, where she developed policy and helped communicate about climate change impacts to federal regulators and policymakers.

“Real and urgently needed progress on climate change requires collective action,” she said in a statement. “That’s why I’m committed to ensuring that NCA5 represents and benefits all Americans.”

Crimmins’ LinkedIn page says she also played a key role in various government climate reports, including past versions of the NCAs. The Trump administration came under fire for releasing the fourth NCA the day after Thanksgiving in 2018.

Crimmins will replace Betsy Weatherhead, who was picked by former President Trump last year. In April, OSTP under President Biden transferred Weatherhead back to the U.S. Geological Survey, even as her peers lauded her work and lamented what they called a politically charged move (Greenwire, April 19).

Biden’s team also reinstated scientist Michael Kuperberg in May to be executive director of the U.S. Global Change Research Program after Trump dismissed him last year (Greenwire, May 19).

The White House said the forthcoming NCA will include “dedicated chapters on each geographic region of the U.S. and will focus on ways to reduce climate change risks through adaptation actions and by reducing emissions.”

Specifically, the report will have interactive tools for everyday users, help Americans prepare for economic and social impacts and convene authors from various backgrounds.

Crimmins added that “by highlighting the often-disparate impacts of climate change, we can make informed choices and take collective action that transforms outcomes.”

Crimmins has advanced science and public policy degrees from several universities, including Michigan State University, San Francisco State University and the Harvard Kennedy School.