Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
June 1, 2016
A biweekly newsletter of the Climate Readiness Collaborative

As the Golden State Warriors head to their second consecutive NBA final, the future is also looking bright for the Kings' new home. The roof of the Golden 1 Center will gleam a little brighter thanks to a 700-kilowatt, $2.5 million solar photovoltaic array that workers began installing last week. The solar array will supply about 15 percent of the arena's electricity; for the rest, the Center has contracted with SMUD to buy energy from a local solar farm for the next 20 years - making the Golden 1 Center the world's first 100% solar-powered indoor arena. SMUD's clean energy efforts don't stop there: last week the utility opened a new anaerobic digester, which will turn manure from 650 dairy cows into electricity and help to reduce emissions of methane, a powerful climate pollutant. With efforts like these, Sacramento is demonstrating how it can lead the state in climate action and the clean economy. 
 
News and Research
Wildfire-fighters warn 2016 could be bad in California
Despite a relatively wet winter, California could face a dangerous wildfire season this summer, due to 40 million dead and dried-out trees. The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) chief warned that the effects of drought will continue to kill California's trees for at least three more years. The USFS once again requested Congress to allocate funds for firefighting from disaster funding, not the agency budget, which takes away money for essential fire prevention. ( Link)
Sierra Nevada trees are shifting to higher elevations
Comparing northern Sierra Nevada tree maps from the 1930s with maps from 2009-2015, scientists found that three out of 12 species - red fir, western white pine, and mountain hemlock - showed significant shifts toward higher elevations. Another tree, lodgepole pine, had a smaller shift upward, but all four species lost more distribution at lower elevations than they gained at higher elevations. The other eight species did not shift their elevation upward, but that may be shifting because their habit is largely below the study threshold of 914 meters. ( DFG)
Insurers made $400 million post-Sandy profit while underpaying homeowners
Photo: Mel Evans/AP
Private insurance companies have made profits of $240 to $406 million annually over the last four years from administering FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program, but thousands of homeowners in New York and New Jersey were paid only a fraction of their policies after losing their homes to Super Storm Sandy. While part of the issue is that flood insurance rates are not high enough to cover program costs, FEMA has also been paying too much to insurance companies - as much as 30 percent - without providing sufficient oversight. Since reopening claims, FEMA found that more than 80% of homeowners were systematically underpaid after Sandy, and is now initiating reforms to restructure their relationship with private insurers and the appeals process to increase oversight and transparency. ( NPR; PBS film)
How states and cities are bracing for the next disaster
Preparations for coming disasters in many states are still hamstrung by political divisions, financial constraints, bureaucratic red tape and pushback from developers and residents who want to build in at-risk areas. While cities have difficulty taking action alone without surrounding municipalities or support from the state, some are forging ahead. ( PBS)

UN: Air and water problems are worsening on a global scale

Photo: AP Photo/Manish Swarup
In a sweeping synthesis of global data, the United Nations Environment Programme has intensively catalogued environmental assaults across the world, finding that overall, damage to the planet is happening more rapidly than before. The root causes boil down to two systemic occurrences with multiple ramifying consequences: a changing climate and greater urbanization. Water scarcity, exacerbated by climate change, was a severe challenge shared across all regions of the world. ( WashPost)

Why historic preservation needs to be part of disaster planning

Photo: AP Photo/Bill Haber
Protecting historic resources is important for disaster resilience as landmarks and sites often contribute to community identity as well as the local economy. But almost two-thirds of all states lack historic preservation goals and strategies in their disaster mitigation plans. Most historic resources were built prior to building codes and flood regulations, and are therefore more vulnerable to sea-level rise, storms, and other hazards. ( CityLab)

Nice weather in the U.S. makes it more difficult to care about climate change

Climate change is - temporarily - making the weather in the U.S. pleasantly warm, which could prevent people being concerned about climate change. According to a new study, in the last 40 years average winter temperatures have increased in the U.S., while average summer temperatures have stayed the same. Using existing data on people's weather preferences, the study found that this is exactly the kind of weather Americans like, with 80% of Americans now living in regions with "nicer" weather. The study authors say people's experience of the weather is largely shaped by their daily experiences, not extreme weather events. ( HuffPost)

How do you talk about climate change so that people will act?

Framing the issue of climate change collectively - rather than emphasizing personal responsibility - is more effective for motivating personal behavior on climate change, finds a new study. This runs contrary to popular wisdom on the importance of "you" messages. The researchers found that emphasizing our collective responsibility for climate change resulted in more action from participants, but framing the issue from a personal perspective produced little to no change in behavior. ( Science Daily)

This is how cities of the future will get their energy

Photo: Jacques Demarthon/AFP/Getty Images
Scientists have developed renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies that can be integrated into dense cities. Solar is likely to take the lead, even in cities that are less sunny, due to the many ways in which it can be deployed. Transparent solar panels can be mounted on windows, for example. A new generation of small, ultra-light, highly efficient wind turbines can be built directly into buildings, such as in Bahrain, China, and France. ( WashPost)
Reports
Energy storage added to solar means significant savings for multifamily housing
Adding energy storage to an already robust solar market in California's multifamily housing sector could significantly increase savings for building owners and tenants, according to a report from the Clean Energy Group. The findings are especially relevant for low-income multifamily housing, in light of California's recent Multifamily Affordable Housing Solar Roofs Program, which will invest $1 billion to deploy solar in multifamily affordable rental housing. ( CEG
Sensing the inevitable, businesses begin to adapt to climate change
Most companies are aware of climate change but have yet to plan for it consistently or in depth. This report from MIT Technology Review seeks out the exceptions to that rule: the companies and industries that out of necessity or foresight are beginning to plan for a future in which a changing climate will require moving beyond the status quo. How are they responding to and preparing for climate change? What lessons can others draw from them? ( MIT
Upcoming Opportunities
Nominate a White House Champion of Change for Climate Equity
Help us identify Champions who are enabling low-income and underserved communities to prepare for, adapt to, and thrive in the face of climate change. Nominations are due Friday, June 10, 2016. ( Link)
USDA: 2017 National Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program
The National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory is seeking innovative grant proposals for program development, study, and collaboration that will address strategies in the National Ten Year Urban Forestry Action Plan. This program will provide $75,000-300,000 to increase city and community forestry. Deadline: June 17, 2016. ( USDA)
New Partners for Smart Growth Conference: Call for Session Proposals
The Local Government Commission is conducting a formal Call for Session Proposals for the 2017 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference. The organizers are looking for interactive session proposals of all types under thematic categories such as community resilience and energy independence, equitable development and environmental justice, and transportation. Conference organizers are placing an emphasis on sessions that focus on implementation, or provide training or instruction on the use of practical tools and technologies and the application of innovative strategies and resources. Deadline: June 30, 2016. ( Link)
ASAP Regional Adaptation Leadership Award
The American Society for Adaptation Professionals - in partnership with the California Adaptation Forum - is launching its first Regional Adaptation Leadership Award competition at the California Adaptation Forum. The Award will recognize one individual who has distinguished her- or himself in the climate change adaptation field through exceptional leadership. Nominations are due July 1, 2016. ( Link)
CivicSpark: Receive Project Support to Advance Your Resiliency Initiatives
CivicSpark is now accepting project applications for the 2016-17 service year! CivicSpark helps local governments build their climate response capacity by working directly with local staff or in the community on projects that address their larger climate action goals. Local government agencies or non-governmental organizations can contract directly with LGC for Civicspark fellows to support projects and programs. Priority deadline: July 1, 2016. ( Link)
Job Opportunity: Energy Program Manager, Local Government Commission
LGC is seeking an experienced and dynamic individual to oversee multiple projects, including administering an Advanced Energy Community EPIC Grant in the City of Fresno and directing the Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition. ( Learn more)
Upcoming Events
Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative - Quarterly Meeting
Tuesday, June 21, Noon-3pm
Sierra 2 Center - Curtis Hall, 2791 24th Street, Sacramento
Our built environment serves as the backbone of the region, but is vulnerable to extreme heat, flooding, and other impacts of climate change. During this meeting, you will have the opportunity to hear about innovative efforts to protect our built environment and build a more sustainable and resilient future, including projects pursuing Living Building Certification and Zero Net Energy affordable housing. We will also have the opportunity to share other efforts that are occurring in the region to develop more resilient and robust infrastructure. ( Register)

Webinar: Understanding the Paris Agreement and its Implications

Thursday, June 2, 10-11.30am

In April 2016, more than 175 nations signed the Paris Agreement. Join us to learn about the key elements of the Paris Agreement, the major challenges that remain for successful implementation, the prospective role to be played by carbon markets, heterogeneous international linkage and implications for industry and subnational government. ( ACCO)

Resilience Planning: Engaging Communities in Effective Problem Solving

Monday, June 6, 9am-4pm

Oakland, CA

The Resilient Communities Initiative presents a special training for government staff working on climate resilience. Participants will explore pitfalls of community engagement and learn proven strategies to working with grassroots groups to develop a good agenda, balance discussion, resolve conflict, achieve consensus, and build partnerships. ( Register )

CAP Quarterly Luncheon: Can Improving Air Quality Boost Economic Growth?

Friday, June 10, 11.30am-1.30pm

West Sacramento Community Center, Community Room

The Cleaner Air Partnership quarterly luncheon features a discussion of the links between air quality and economic development, with a focus on activities in Yolo and Solano County. National studies indicate that poor air quality has a negative impact on economic growth in regions that do not meet federal air quality standards. Speakers will discuss efforts in Yolo and Solano County to improve air quality while boosting economic growth. ( Register)  
Webinar Series: Making the Connection - Climate Changes Health
June 7, June 29, all 10.30am PST
In this webinar series from the American Public Health Association, we invite you to find out how climate change affects health and what we can do to care for and protect personal and community health. On June 7 participants will learn how transportation and healthy community design can ease the clinical impacts of climate change.  ( Register)
7th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum
June 15-16, 2016, Riverside, California
Registration is still open for the 7th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum, offered at no cost to California local governments. The forum will feature updates from key state agencies, highlight innovative local energy and climate change programs, offer capacity-building trainings, and provide several networking opportunities. ( Register
About the Capital Region Climate  Readiness  Collaborative

The Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative is a membership based collaborative network designed to promote greater climate change resilience planning coordination in the six-county Sacramento Region. The purpose of this collaborative network is to create a forum where leaders from government, academia, environmental and community groups, the business community, and labor can come together to exchange information, identify vulnerabilities and data gaps, leverage resources, and advance comprehensive solutions in an effort to create stronger, sustainable, and economically viable communities in the Sacramento Region.  If you are interested in learning more about the Climate Readiness Collaborative, joining the Collaborative, or being added to the list serve, visit: www.climatereadiness.info/