Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
April 6, 2020
A biweekly newsletter of the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative
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Key readings about climate change and coronavirus
Writers and reporters immersed in climate change stories are thinking about useful comparisons they might make with the unfolding story of COVID-19. Here is a compilation of stories offering different perspectives, insights, and ideas. The list will be updated and expanded. ( Yale Climate Connections)
'Tip of the iceberg': is our destruction of nature responsible for Covid-19?
A number of researchers today think that it is actually humanity’s destruction of biodiversity that creates the conditions for new viruses and diseases such as Covid-19, to arise – with profound health and economic impacts in rich and poor countries alike. Research suggests that outbreaks of animal-borne and other infectious diseases such as Ebola, Sars, bird flu and now Covid-19 are on the rise. Pathogens are crossing from animals to humans, and many are able to spread quickly to new places. The disruption of pristine forests driven by logging, mining, road building through remote places, rapid urbanisation and population growth is bringing people into closer contact with animal species they may never have been near before. ( Guardian)
As natural disasters strike, a new fear: Relief shelters may spread virus
As the United States rushes into disaster season, federal officials now have an added crisis to worry about: How to stop tightly packed disaster-response shelters from becoming hot spots of coronavirus transmission. The virus is forcing emergency managers to rethink long-held procedures for operating shelters like these in real time. That challenge comes as the nation’s crisis-response work force is already taxed by three years of brutal hurricanes, floods and wildfires, a trend that climate change promises to accelerate. ( NYT)
What the coronavirus means for climate change
Our response to this health crisis will shape the climate crisis for decades to come. The efforts to revive economic activity — the stimulus plans, bailouts and back-to-work programs being developed now — will help determine the shape of our economies and our lives for the foreseeable future, and they will have effects on carbon emissions that reverberate across the planet for thousands of years. ( NYT)
The analogy between Covid-19 and climate change is eerily precise
“We went through the stages of climate change denial in the matter of a week,” said Gordon Pennycook, a psychologist at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada, who studies how misinformation spreads. Naomi Oreskes, a historian of science who has studied the origins of climate disinformation, spelled out the pattern in an email: “First, one denies the problem, then one denies its severity, and then one says it is too difficult or expensive to fix, and/or that the proposed solution threatens our freedom.” ( Wired)
Coronavirus shows how to fight disinformation about climate change
With coronavirus, news outlets and tech companies have done a much better job of quashing misinformation, which could provide lessons on how to fight conspiracy theories about climate change. ( Fast Company) Photo: ffikretow/iStock, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
One more way the world wasn't prepared for coronavirus: Air pollution
Air pollution and the virus have a close relationship. Breathing unclean air is linked to high blood pressure, diabetes, and respiratory disease, conditions that doctors are starting to associate with higher death rates for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Physicians say that people with these chronic conditions may be less able to fight off infections and more likely to die of the disease. ( Grist) Research also shows that air pollution, particularly particulate matter air pollution, increases the risk of people getting sick with bacterial and viral pathogens that cause pneumonia, and that people who are exposed to more air pollution get sicker when they get exposed to those kinds of pathogens. ( Inside Climate News) Photo: Kris Snibbe/Harvard University
 How hip hop can bring green issues to communities of color
The environmental movement has largely failed to connect with people of color and marginalized urban communities. By confronting issues from contaminated water to climate change, hip hop music can help bridge that divide and bring home the realities of environmental injustice. Too often people in these communities dismiss environmental concerns because they have other pressing issues in their lives — in many cases, they’re in survival mode — and they believe “the environment” is disconnected from their experiences. We need to find forms of communication that resonate with those affected by climate change, pollution, food insecurity, contaminated water, and toxic exposures, and that speak to their values. ( Yale 360) Photo: Enzo Pérés-Labourdette/Yale E360
Trend: Commercial buildings go all-electric
To reach deep decarbonization goals, mounting research reveals buildings must be electrified — from homes to high-rises. All signs point to the next generation of commercial buildings becoming all-electric. While the upfront costs of electric appliances can be more than for gas appliances, added costs are more than offset by avoiding plumbing the building for gas. And as more buildings go electric, appliance costs are sure to fall. When looking at a building holistically, there’s potential to improve how elements work together, essentially applying circular economy principles to building design. This could include elements such as incorporating heat recovery heat pumps, increasing efficiency and mitigating capacity constraints and including on-site renewables. When combined, there is potential for compounding benefits that make the system cheaper than those in a conventional building. ( GreenBiz)
Startups aim to pay farmers to bury carbon pollution in soil
Due to modern farming practices that strip organic matter from the ground, between 20 and 60% of the carbon once stored in the world’s agricultural soils has been lost. Putting it back – a process known as carbon farming or regenerative agriculture – has been hailed as a promising climate mitigation solution. The benefits of carbon-rich soil go beyond climate – it’s also vital for food security, water quality, and biodiversity. ( Yale Climate Connections)
These corals could survive climate change - and help save the world's reefs
Ocean ecologists hope that even as the climate warms, corals still have a fighting chance. When these scientists hear that 70–90% of reefs could be gone by mid-century, they focus on the 30% that might live. And they’re taking action to save those reefs for the future. Researchers and conservationists are testing many strategies to help corals, such as growing and replanting corals in damaged reefs, and helping the most resilient reefs to stay alive. ( Nature) Photo: National Geographic Image Collection/Alamy
How the world's fattest parrot came back from a deadly disease
Kākāpo are not just rare, they are also deeply weird: flightless, nocturnal, with fragrant feathers and a comical waddling run. When a deadly fungal disease struck, the country’s vets came to the rescue. ( Guardian)
Tools & Resources
Guidance Tool: Climate Action Points of Engagement for Local Health Departments
Compiling input from the October 31, 2019 CAT-PHWG meeting, this tool provides a list of actions, activities, and points of engagement for local health departments to further engage in cross-sector climate action. ( CDPH)
Four Twenty Seven On-demand Climate Risk Application
Four Twenty Seven’s on-demand climate risk scoring tool responds to the financial sector’s growing call for the seamless integration of granular, forward-looking climate data into investment decisions and risk management practices. Users enter addresses and facility types to receive information on their assets’ exposure to floods, sea level rise, hurricanes & typhoons, heat stress and water stress to mid-century. Detailed facility scorecards include data on the underlying risk drivers for each hazard, and users can toggle between maps and tables to identify regional trends and multi-hazard exposure. ( 427)
How to visually communicate the health impacts of climate change
We all care about our health and our loved ones' health. We are also visual creatures. Effective imagery of health impacts – as well as the health benefits of low-carbon behaviours – can therefore be a key gateway to widening public engagement with climate change. Climate change is affecting our health in numerous ways, but these connections however aren’t always clear among the general public. Following new survey research – the first of its kind – we outline our key findings and recommendations in an online report and collection of 150 images to enable campaigners, journalists and communicators in general to more effectively engage the public around climate change and health. ( Climate Visuals)
Upcoming Opportunities
Requests for Proposals: Updating Climate and GHG Emissions Toolkit
The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management DIstrict is releasing two Requests for Proposals (RFP) for a project to update and incorporate climate adaptation into two climate change and GHG emissions modeling tools. The RFPs will support updating and improving CalEEMod and the CAPCOA Quantifying GHG Mitigation Measures Handbook to help local governments address climate mitigation and climate adaptation simultaneously. Deadline: April 24. ( SMAQMD)
CivicSpark Partner Recruitment - Priority Partner Applications Now Open
CivicSpark is a Governor’s Initiative AmeriCorps program dedicated to building capacity for local public agencies to address emerging environmental and social equity resilience challenges. Sign up for a webinar to learn about CivicSpark’s 5-year track record of helping communities tackle their biggest challenges while fostering the next generation of leaders and also about what it takes to become a partner. The second priority deadline is April 10. ( CivicSpark)
2020 Wildlife Conservation Society Climate Adaptation Fund
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has recently announced a new round of grantmaking through its Climate Adaptation Fund, a program that supports projects that implement effective interventions for wildlife and ecosystem adaptation to climate change. The WCS Climate Adaptation Fund provides a total of $2.5 million in grant awards between $50,000 and $250,000 to conservation non-profit organizations each year. Deadline: April 8. ( WCS)
Partners Advancing Climate Equity Request for Proposals
Partners Advancing Climate Equity (PACE) is a pilot climate equity learning collaborative and technical assistance program aimed at building capacity for climate action and grant readiness in under-resourced communities. This RFP seeks a consultant team to develop and implement the pilot collaborative to help expand community-driven leadership to advance sustainability, health, and equity priorities. The PACE program also involves providing technical assistance to emerging and established leaders across California to catalyze local climate action and help link state resources with local capacity needs. PACE is an initiative of SGC's new Community Assistance for Climate Equity program, which encompasses both the California Climate Investments Technical Assistance Program and the emerging Regional Climate Collaboratives Program created by SB 1072 (Leyva). Deadline: April 17. ( CalProcure)
CalEPA Environmental Justice Small Grants
This program offers funding to assist non-profit community organizations and federally recognized Tribal governments address environmental justice issues in areas disproportionately affected by environmental pollution and hazards. CalEPA will prioritize projects that increase participation in environmental decision-making, promote community resilience, and support local capacity to respond to environmental and health challenges. Deadline: April 17. ( CalEPA)
Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council Grants
The Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council is requesting concept applications for enhancement projects on PG&E Watershed Lands. There is $3 million available for projects that would enhance beneficial public values of natural habitat, outdoor recreation, sustainable forestry, agriculture, open space, or cultural or historic resources. Eligible applicants include nonprofits, federal- and state-recognized tribes, or public agencies. Deadline: April 27. ( PFWL)
Strategic Growth Council: Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Grant
The Strategic Growth Council is accepting applications for Round 6 of the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program (SALC). SALC fights climate change by protecting our productive farmlands and encouraging infill development. SALC provides two types of grants: Planning grants support the development of policies and economic development strategies to protect agricultural land, and Land Acquisition Grants (for either conservation easements or fee acquisitions) permanently protect lands that are at risk of conversion to sprawl development. Prospective applicants for acquisition grants must submit pre-proposals by Thursday, April 30. (Organizations interested in planning grants are encouraged to submit pre-proposals as well.) Complete applications for both grants are due Friday, August 28, 2020. ( DOC)
Planning Grants for Communities Affected by 2017-2019 California Wildfires
The Strategic Growth Council, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, and the Department of Conservation are pleased to open the application for Proposition 84 Wildfire Resiliency and Recovery Planning Grants. A total of $720,000 is available for 3-5 grants between $150,000 and $250,000. Eligible applicants include local and regional governments (cities, counties, tribes, and metropolitan planning organizations) representing areas affected by wildfires between 2017-2019. Deadline: 5pm, April 30. ( SGC)
Thriving Earth Exchange: Receive support from scientists on your community project
Thriving Earth Exchange (TEX) supports community projects related to natural hazards, natural resources, or climate change. Projects are assisted by scientists and last 6-18 months. TEX is accepting applications from community leaders representing historically marginalized communities to join the Fall 2020 Cohort. Selected communities will work directly with a Community Science Fellow and American Geophysical Union scientists to co-design a local project. Communities, Fellows and scientists will collaborate on community outreach and engagement activities. Deadline: May 15, 2020. ( TEX)
Tribal Government Challenge Planning Grant Program
Funded by the California Energy Commission and administered by the California Strategic Growth Council, the Tribal Government Challenge Planning Grant Program will provide funds for California Tribes to conduct planning to identify solutions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve clean energy access, and advance climate adaptation and resiliency on Tribal lands and in Tribal communities. The program goals are to support planning activities that promote clean energy access and energy efficiency, with a focus on promoting public health, reducing emissions, and supporting climate adaptation and resiliency in Tribal communities. Deadline: May 22. ( SGC)
California Natural Resources Agency: Urban Greening Grant Program
$28 million will be available for projects for urban greening. The solicitation is currently open but the related workshops and due date have been postponed. ( CNRA)
Upcoming Events
CRC Virtual Workshop: Climate Change & the Economy in the Context of CoVid-19
Thursday, April 16, 1-3.15pm
We will discuss how COVID-19 is impacting our world, particularly the potential interplay between the economic impacts of COVID-19 and the need for public and private sector climate action, resilience building, and adaptation funding. We will also discuss the state's priorities for climate moving forward and hear from community leaders about how they continued to fight for climate and reach underserved communities during a pandemic. COVID-19 is showing what really matters is the same for all of us: the health and safety of our family, our friends, our loved ones, and our communities. These same priorities are at the heart of our shared goal to build a regional foundation to ensure our region is healthy, sustainable, and resilient in the face of a changing climate. ( Register)
Webinar series: Tribal Climate & Health Adaptation Regional Cohort Training Series
3rd Tuesday of the month, January-August
A comprehensive tribal climate change adaptation plan can help a Native American tribal community better understand, prepare for, and protect against climate health impacts. This training will provide steps, tools, templates, case studies, and other resources that seek to streamline the adaptation planning process and make it easier for tribal health and environmental professionals to understand and address human health exposures and impacts within tribal communities. ( Register)
Webinar: Mobilizing Action for Climate, Health, and Equity
Tuesday, April 7, 10am
The U.S. Call to Action on Climate, Health, and Equity launched in the summer of 2019, and now has support from more than 150 health organizations from across the country. The Call to Action includes a Policy Action Agenda: 10 priority actions to protect and promote health and advance the well-being of all people in the era of climate change. Join this webinar series to learn more about the Call to Action and 10 priority actions, how it is being used to organize climate & health advocacy efforts on the national, state and local levels, and how you can become a visible climate leader in this critical year. Health voices must be at the forefront of climate solutions to ensure a healthy and just future for everyone. ( Register)
Global Adaptation Month Pop-up Discussion: Climate Change Impacts on International Public Health Systems
Thursday, April 16, 11-11.45am
In celebration of Global Adaptation Month 2020, join us to discuss the impacts of climate change on international public health systems. The facilitators will prompt a systems-level discussion among webinar participants to encourage adaptation considerations and provide a virtual space for knowledge exchange. ( Register)
Financing + Resilience Initiative Part 1: Building the Financial Business Case for Resilience
Tuesday, April 21 and April 28, 12-1pm
Part 1 of this mini-series will highlight how commercial building owners can build the financial business case for resilience within an organization, best practices for measuring financial risk at the asset and portfolio level, and strategies for managing insurance cost and business risk. Part 2 will focus on different mechanisms for financing resilience projects, various reporting frameworks for disclosing resilience performance, and pulling everything together into a resilience risk management plan. ( Register)
Webinar: Exploring a New Funding/Partner-Finding Platform from the California Energy Commission
Tuesday, May 5, 11am-12pm
Join the Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition for a live demonstration of Empower Innovation, a new platform created by the California Energy Commission. Discover how your community can use this free tool to connect with cleantech companies, browse millions of dollars in public and private funding opportunities, and explore hundreds of curated resources. Empower Innovation is a professional networking platform to help local governments and businesses identify funding and partnering opportunities to advance a clean energy future for all. It is a good place to learn about solutions if your community is interested in piloting new technology, reducing energy costs, or improving air and water quality. ( Register)
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.
CRC is a program of the  Local Government Commission .