Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
April 6, 2017
A biweekly newsletter of the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative

In the face of a federal government determined to play ostrich, state capitols around the US are stepping up. Even Republican governors have put pen to paper, boosting energy efficiency incentives, renewable portfolio standards, and clean energy generation. The reality of the market means that utilities will continue to invest in low-carbon generation, not because of regulations but because they are cheaper and more popular with customers than coal. And in this new energy future, solar, wind, and energy efficiency will deliver far more high-paying, permanent jobs than fossil fuels. California is leading in this effort, and it is not alone in its fight back. 

We'd also like to welcome two new members to the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative, the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District and Sacramento Area Sewer District!

Don't forget to register for the upcoming Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative quarterly networking meeting on Tuesday, April 25th from 2:00-5:00pm in downtown Sacramento! At this meeting we will discuss what is happening at the state level around disaster resilience and how both urban and rural communities are addressing climate impacts in preparedness and emergency response efforts. (Register)
Trump's climate change executive order jeopardizes state and local resiliency efforts
Trump's executive order rescinded President Obama's 2013 and 2015 executive orders that resulted in recommendations for federal actions on climate adaptation from local, state, and tribal leaders. It also revokes guidance that the effects of climate change be considered by federal officials in making military and planning decisions. ( Climate Central ) Both jobs and infrastructure would be at risk if FEMA requirements for states and local government to build climate risks into planning are eliminated. Experts said that while Trump's executive order undermine efforts to prepare for extreme events and threaten funding and regulatory reforms, state and local governments would continue their work to protect communities. ( Reuters )
Fingerprint of climate change found on heatwaves, droughts and floods across the world
Photo: Damir Sagolj/Reuters
Scientists found that climate change has increased the likelihood of conditions that stall "planetary waves," a pattern of winds (including the jet stream) that encircle the northern hemisphere from the tropics to the poles. Normally, the waves move eastwards, but under certain temperature conditions, the wave can halt its movement. This leaves whole regions under the same weather for extended periods, turning hot spells into heat waves and wet weather into floods, including California's record drought, recent heatwaves in the US and Russia, and flooding in Pakistan in 2010. A key factor is the warming Arctic: large-scale wind patterns are largely driven by the temperature difference between the poles and the tropics, but this gap is diminishing as the Arctic is warming up more rapidly than lower latitudes. ( Guardian)
Why floodplains could be California's buffer against climate change
Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez, AP

Groundwater recharge, flood protection, and wildlife habitat all depend on floodplains. Now there's a new movement underway to restore floodplains to ease California's dramatic swings between drought and flood. Moving levees farther apart, for example, can expand river channels, increase holding capacity for floodwaters, and create new riparian habitat. Another method is to build diversion points where rising rivers can leave the levee channel and flood farmland that can tolerate occasional inundation. This shallow flooding can recharge severely depleted groundwater aquifers. Other benefits of floodplain restoration include reduced levee maintenance costs, revived riparian forests, and habitat for juvenile fish, such as salmon. ( Link)
Sierra Nevada snowpack raises fears of snow-melt floods
California's snowpack is at its deepest in years, and surveyors are concerned about the risks of destructive flooding when it melts. Snow in the Sierra Nevada starts melting around this time of year, and the state is already waterlogged after storms in January and February. The Sierra snowpack's overall water content is at 164 percent of normal. ( SF Chronicle)
Climate change: global reshuffle of wildlife will have huge impacts on humanity
Photo: Jason Edwards/NG/Getty Images
In a major new analysis, scientists warn that species movements due to changing temperatures will damage industries, such as forestry and tourism, and that tensions are emerging between nations over shifting natural resources, such as fish stocks. "The shifts will leave 'winners' and 'losers' in their wake, radically reshaping the pattern of human wellbeing ... and potentially leading to substantial conflict," the team warns. "Human society has yet to appreciate the implications of unprecedented species redistribution for life on Earth, including for human lives." The most direct impact on humans is the movement of disease-carrying insects, while invasive species can also lead to drastic ecosystem changes. "Climate-driven species redistributions shouldn't only be a concern for conservation biologists - they should worry everyone," said one scientist. "The world as a whole isn't adequately prepared to handle the range of issues emerging from species moving across local, national, and international boundaries." ( Guardian)
2017's wildfire season is already ten times worse than the average
Believe it or not, wildfire season is already off to a devastating start. Fires have already burned 2 million acres in the US - 10 times the average for mid-March. More acreage has already burned in 2017 than the entire fire season in 1998. Record-high temperatures, low humidity, and high wind have created an ideal environment for wildfires in the Great Plains and the West, including Colorado, Oklahoma, and Kansas, which saw the state's largest fires ever. ( Link)
America's Infrastructure Scores a D+
Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers' (ASCE) Report Card for America's Infrastructure grades American infrastructure based on its physical condition and needed investments for improvement. Since 1998, America's infrastructure has earned persistent D averages, and the failure to close the investment gap with needed maintenance and improvements has continued, with stark implications for the country's economic future. For California, the ASCE estimates that there are $44.5 billion in unmet needs for drinking water infrastructure and $26.2 billion for wastewater infrastructure. The state also has 678 high-hazard dams, and 5.5% of its bridges are structurally deficient. ( ASCE; full report)
Tools and Reports
Georgetown Climate Center's Adaptation Equity Portal 
Two of the biggest challenges facing the US - and the world - are growing societal inequalities and climate change, which will disproportionally affect poor and disenfranchised communities.  The Georgetown Climate Center is launching an Adaptation Equity Portal within its Adaptation Clearinghouse to help communities develop policies that integrate social and environmental justice. The portal provides more than 200 resources that help identify ways to better protect the safety and livelihoods of those most affected by climate change. Join the Adaptation Equity Portal today to start exploring what cities and states are doing to ensure that frontline communities benefit from adaptation policies, to explore best practices for engaging diverse participants, and to better understand the intersections of climate change and equity. ( Link)
Opportunities for Equitable Adaptation in Cities
In April 2016, the Georgetown Climate Center, in collaboration with the Urban Sustainability Director's Network, brought together city, state, and federal officials with environmental justice and social equity organizations for a workshop to discuss ways that cities can promote social equity and environmental justice in their efforts to prepare for climate change. This report summarizes the proceedings, synthesizes comments and reflections of participants, and provides examples of equitable adaptation throughout the US. The report also explores tangible actions city officials and environmental justice leaders can take to encourage community-driven planning and integrate social equity goals with climate adaptation goals. ( GCC)
Physical Activity: Health Benefits, the Role of the Built Environment and Air Pollution
New community design strategies and smart growth principles have the potential to increase exercise and active transportation, but if individuals are walking and bicycling on high-traffic roads, their exposure to air pollution may also be increased. This white paper summarizes the published literature on the health benefits of physical activity, with a specific focus on walking and bicycling for transportation. The paper also examines studies analyzing the combined health effects of increased physical activity and air pollution exposure, finding that in most environments the health benefits outweigh the harms. (Download the white paper and factsheet)
2017 annual report details how cap and trade revenues help Californian communities
The 2017 annual report on California's climate investments details how cap and trade auction proceeds have been invested to reduce GHG emissions while improving public health and local economies. Last year over $500 million was awarded. Cumulatively, $1.2 billion dollars have been awarded in 57 out of 58 counties, with over 50% going to projects benefiting disadvantaged communities and over a third going to projects located directly in disadvantaged communities. The 2017 report includes information on the status of each program, its benefits for disadvantaged communities, cost-effectiveness, and metrics for evaluating program effectiveness. Users can track and aggregate projects via an online map. ( Link)
Upcoming Opportunities
CivicSpark now recruiting project partners for 2017-2018 program year
Over the past two years, the Local Government Commission's Governor's Initiative AmeriCorps CivicSpark program has provided 130,000+ hours of support to over 100 public agencies, while implementing 80 projects in climate change and water policy. In Sacramento, CivicSpark fellows have been working to increase food waste recycling and reduce its associated GHG emissions and support low-income home weatherization, among other activities. ( Link)
Apply for a public fleet rebate
California public fleets in disadvantaged communities can apply for 2017 rebate funding for new, eligible zero-emission and plug-in hybrid light-duty vehicles. The Public Fleet Pilot Project has $3 million available, with rebates up to $15,000 per vehicle. Fleets may reserve rebate funding at any stage in the procurement process up to six months in advance of expected delivery to six months after delivery. Check your ZIP code to determine eligibility; ineligible fleets can still receive standard Clean Vehicle Rebate Project rebates of up to $2,500 per vehicle. ( Link)
United Nations 2017 Momentum for Change Awards
Organizations, cities, industries, governments, and other key players that are taking the lead on tackling climate change can nominate their game-changing projects for the United Nations Momentum for Change award. This award will showcase action and ambition on implementing the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. Deadline: April 9. ( UN)
U.S. EPA Wetland Program Development Grants
This grant opportunity assists state, local, and tribal governments in building programs to protect, manage, and restore wetlands. Deadline: April 10, 8.59pm PDT ( Link)
SACOG: Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Innovations Grant
Do you have a solution to encourage people in the Sacramento region to get out of their cars? The TDM Innovations Grant Program will fund new projects and activities that reduce single-occupant vehicle travel and produce measureable results. Examples of eligible projects include parking pricing programs, technology-based solutions, marketing projects and more. SACOG strongly encourages applicants to submit a single-page concept paper during the pre-application period to get feedback before the final application round in May. Concept paper deadline: April 17, 5pm. Final deadline: June 30, 5pm. ( Link)
2016-2017 CAL FIRE Landscape-Scale Forest Health Grant Program
Funded by cap and trade revenues, the 2016-2017 CAL FIRE Forest Health Grant Program will support projects that proactively restore forest health to reduce GHG emissions. Projects must focus on large, landscape-scale forests and may include reforestation, fuel reduction, pest management, conservation, biomass utilization, carbon storage, wildfire emissions reduction, and watershed protection activities. Deadline for concept proposals: April 17.  ( CAL FIRE)
USDA Regional Conservation Partnership Program
The USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service seeks to co-invest with partners in innovative, workable, and cost-effective approaches to benefit farming, ranching, and forest operations, local economies, and the communities and resources in a watershed or other geographic area. Deadline: April 21. ( Link)
USDA: Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP)
The USDA is offering up to $15 million in technical and financial assistance to help protect, restore, and enhance critical wetlands on agricultural lands. Through WREP, states, local governments, non-profits, and tribes will work with landowners to enroll eligible land into easements and adopt a variety of conservation measures. Deadline: April 24. ( USDA)
California Natural Resources Agency: Urban Greening Grant
The Urban Greening Program has $76 million to fund projects that reduce GHG emissions by sequestering carbon, decreasing energy consumption, and reducing vehicle miles traveled, while also transforming the built environment into places that are more sustainable, enjoyable, and effective in creating healthy and vibrant communities. Deadline: May 1, 5pm. ( Link)
PG&E: Better Together Resilient Communities Grant Program
PG&E is launching a new grant program that will award $1 million over five years to support local climate resilience initiatives. For the first year, PG&E will award two grants of $100,000 each for projects that will build healthy and resilient forests and watersheds to help communities plan and prepare for increasing wildfire risk. Applicants must include a local government within PG&E's Northern and Central California service area as a partner. Deadline: May 12. ( PG&E)
Upcoming Events
Public Health Research Roadmap on Emerging Electricity Generating Systems
Tuesday, April 11, 10am-noon
Hearing Room B, California Energy Commission, 1516 9th Street, Sacramento
The Public Health Institute is developing for the California Energy Commission a Public Health Research Roadmap to prioritize research needs on the health impacts of emerging electricity-generating systems, focusing on renewable resources as well as energy storage and transmission technologies. The roadmap will highlight gaps in current knowledge on exposure, hazards, and impacts. The workshop will present their findings to date and seek feedback from stakeholders. The event will also be webcast. (Contact:
EPA Webinar: Financing Climate Change Solutions
Thursday, April 13, 9-10.15am 
Although there is widespread agreement on the need to prepare for a changing climate, there is no consensus on how much it will cost, or how communities will pay for it. This webinar from the EPA and Antioch University's series on local climate solutions for communities will address financial support for emergency preparedness and longer-range adaptation planning. Topics will include the rapidly changing costs of insurance, navigating the complexities of damage payments, existing funds, and out-of-the-box thinking to mitigate future costs. ( Register)
Yolo Climate Compact: California's 2030 Scoping Plan and Job Training
Friday, April 14, 9-11am
600 A Street, Davis
The Yolo Climate Compact will host Phil Serna, Sacramento County Supervisor and Member of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), as well as Sydney Vergis, Director of Legislative Affairs for CARB, to discuss California's draft Scoping Plan to meet 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. James Morante of Engage! Strategies will also speak about the process, potential, and challenges for establishing a job training program in Yolo, to ensure that the County can become a hub for sustainability. (Contact: Tara Thronson at or 530.757.5581)
Webinar: 100 Days of the New Administration
Wednesday, April 26, 10-11am
Join a panel discussion to explore the implications of and actions in response to the first 100 days of the new federal administration on adaptation activities in the US. ( Register)
Webinar: Exploring Community-wide health interventions that have impact in 5 years - public transportation
Wednesday, April 26, 10-11am PST
Join the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to discuss expanding public transportation, one of the CDC's Health Impact in Five Years (HI-5) initiative interventions, which are non-clinical, community-wide approaches with a proven track record. This webinar highlights specific interventions and will provide stakeholders with the opportunity to hear real-world examples of how local and state-level organizations have expanded public transportation to meet needs of their communities. Presenters from the CDC, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority will describe experiences with introducing and expanding public transportation services. ( Register)
Registration Open for Business of Local Energy Symposium
Friday, May 5, Hyatt Regency Long Beach
Join government, business, and community leaders from across the state to accelerate California's shift to a clean energy economy. Don't miss this opportunity to network, exchange ideas about Community Choice Energy programs, and learn about energy policy, regulations, markets, and technology. Use CRC's discount code BLE17CRC to receive a 10% discount off registration! ( Learn more or 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 Capital Region.

The CRC is a program of the Local Government Commission.