Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
April 8, 2019
A biweekly newsletter of the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative
We are excited to announce our newest member and second state agency, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy! The Conservancy works to restore ecosystems and supports efforts that advance environmental protection and the economic well-being of Delta residents, systems, and infrastructure, including the agriculture of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Suisun Marsh. The Conservancy is piloting an innovative Delta Carbon program to sequester carbon through wetlands restoration, which also supports local farmers and builds resilience. 
The climate change paper so depressing it’s sending people into therapy
What if I told you there was a paper on climate change that was so uniquely catastrophic, so perspective-altering and so absolutely depressing that it’s sent people to support groups and encouraged them to quit their jobs and move to the countryside? Good news: there is. It’s called “Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy.” Professor Jem Bendell of the University of Cumbria wrote the paper after taking a sabbatical at the end of 2017 to review and understand the latest climate science “properly – not sitting on the fence anymore.” What he found terrified him. “The evidence before us suggests that we are set for disruptive and uncontrollable levels of climate change, bringing starvation, destruction, migration, disease and war,” he writes. “Our norms of behaviour – that we call our ‘civilisation’ – may also degrade.” ( Vice)
NOAA Spring Outlook: Historic, widespread flooding to continue through May
Record winter precipitation across a large swath of the country has led to nearly two-thirds of the Lower 48 states facing an elevated risk for flooding through May, with the potential for major or moderate flooding in 25 states, according to NOAA. The areas of greatest risk for moderate to major flooding include the Mississippi River basins. Additionally, portions of California and Nevada are at risk for minor flooding. Ed Clark, director of NOAA’s National Water Center, said “This is shaping up to be a potentially unprecedented flood season, with more than 200 million people at risk for flooding in their communities.” In the western U.S., snowpacks may continue to build over the next month, and the flood risk will depend on future precipitation and temperatures. ( NOAA) Photo: NOAA
Mozambique city fought climate change, but cyclone roared in
Long before Cyclone Idai roared in and tore apart Mozambique’s seaside city of Beira, the mayor dreamed of protecting his people from climate change. Large parts of the city of 500,000 residents are below sea level on a coastline that is one of the world’s most vulnerable to rising waters. With the World Bank’s support, a $120 million project was approved in 2012 to help protect the city. An 11-kilometer (seven-mile) system of drainage canals and water retention basins now snakes from the beach deep into boggy neighborhoods. The new system worked perfectly when there was flooding two months ago, but Idai was a different story. Packing winds of some 240 kilometers (150 miles) an hour, the storm ripped apart structures built to withstand less than half that intensity. “This cyclone destroyed everything we built for more than 100 years.” ( AP) Photo: AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, File
Indestructible doomsday seed vault at risk from climate change
Roughly 800 miles from the North Pole is a concrete building meant to feed humanity in case global disaster strikes. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, tucked 390 feet into a mountain on snowy Spitsbergen Island, contains nearly a million seed samples that can be used to regrow crops in case a planetary emergency threatens our food supply. Unfortunately, its builders didn’t anticipate an emergency so soon. The Arctic is warming faster than anywhere else on earth, and Svalbard is already 4 to 7.3 degrees Celsius warmer than it was 50 years ago and, at current rates, is expected to become 7 to 10 warmer by 2100. All that warmth is melting the permafrost, which is the bedrock on which all the structures in the region – the Seed Vault included – are built. ( Inverse)
Gov. Gavin Newsom declares state of emergency due to increased wildfire risk
Gavin Newsom declared a statewide emergency as result of “a vast tree die-off throughout the state” and deteriorating forest conditions that have increased the risk of wildfires. The executive order allows the state to suspend environmental review on some fuel-reduction projects, including forest thinning. The state of emergency declaration will allow Cal Fire to act on 35 priority fuel-reduction projects in high fire-risk zones, identified in its Community Wildfire Prevention & Mitigation Report. The governor’s executive order to exempt environmental review on fuel-reduction projects raised concerns by some groups critical of logging practices. ( Governing)
Taking the heat: Climate change is already changing how we farm
In August 2017, with smoke from Canadian wildfires descending on Bellingham, Washington, Torres began receiving emergency text alerts urging people to remain indoors because of the poor air quality. He asked for the days off and was told “no.” At the nearby Sarbanand blueberry farm, 28-year-old Honesto Silva Ibarra, a worker from Mexico, collapsed. He had complained for three days about feeling sick and needing to see a doctor. He fell into a coma and later died, prompting protests and strikes. “They didn’t care about us,” said Torres. ( Link)
‘A lot at stake’: indigenous and minorities sidelined on climate change fight
Indigenous people and communities of color have historically seen the worst environmental degradation and biggest health risks from pollution, yet campaigns to protect the environment and fight climate change have often sidelined them. The mainstream movement has a well-documented diversity problem that is not quickly improving. Research repeatedly shows communities of color are more likely to be subjected to pollution. The parts of the country with dangerous, cancer-related air pollution have lower percentages of white residents. At the same time, 95% of the $60bn in annual foundation funding for all causes goes to organizations led by white people and 70 to 80% goes to those led by men. ( Guardian) Photo: Jason Connolly/AFP/Getty Images
Climate change is lengthening storms and worsening air pollution
In a new example of the vicious cycles spun up by climate change, research suggests for the first time that pollution is lingering longer over cities and summer storms are becoming more powerful. Climate change is weakening the circulation of huge weather systems high in the atmosphere. The result is cities swathed for days in pollution, whole regions more vulnerable to sudden, torrential storms, and longer heat waves. ( Bloomberg)
Climate study warns of vanishing safety window—here’s why
A new analysis of millions of possible climate futures found only a narrow window to keeping global warming to levels the international community has deemed safe. Out of 5.2 million possible climate futures, carbon emissions must reach zero by 2030 in every country in the world if we are to stay below 3.6F (2C) by 2100. Global emissions are currently over 40 billion tons a year and increased the last two years. Meanwhile oil consumption will continue to grow over the next five years, driven by demand for jet fuel and petrochemicals. Cutting emissions to zero by 2030 to meet the 3.6F (2C) target will be exceptionally difficult, and there is no path to 2.7F (1.5C) given the constraints used in the paper. ( National Geographic)
Climate and economic risks ‘threaten 2008-style systemic collapse’
The gathering storm of human-caused threats to climate, nature and economy pose a danger of systemic collapse comparable to the 2008 financial crisis, according to a new report that calls for urgent and radical reform to protect political and social systems. The study says the combination of global warming, soil infertility, pollinator loss, chemical leaching and ocean acidification is creating a “new domain of risk”, which is hugely underestimated by policymakers even though it may pose the greatest threat in human history. “This new risk domain affects virtually all areas of policy and politics, and it is doubtful that societies around the world are adequately prepared to manage this risk.” The authors examine how the deterioration of natural infrastructure, such as a stable climate and fertile land, have a knock-on effect on health, wealth, inequality and migration, which in turn heightens the possibility of political tension and conflict. ( Guardian ) Photo: Jason Miczek/Reuters
California solar sets new record – but that’s not the big story
On Saturday, March 16, California set a new solar energy record. Just before 3pm, solar output peaked at 10,765 megawatts, the highest amount ever. According to the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), demand at that time, not including behind-the-meter solar, was around 18 gigawatts. That meant solar was meeting 59% of the grid’s power needs at that moment. That’s wonderful news, but what should get solar proponents really excited is that CAISO was a net exporter of electricity to other systems at the time the record was set. ( Clean Technica)
Tools & Resources
Hazard mitigation for buildings saves $11 for every $1 invested
The National Institute of Building Sciences issued “Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: 2018 Interim Report” to highlight the significant savings that result from implementing mitigation strategies in terms of safety, and the prevention of property loss and disruption of day-to-day life. Part of an ongoing, multiyear study on the benefits of hazard mitigation, this report looked at the benefits of designing buildings to meet the 2018 International Residential Code (IRC) and 2018 International Building Code (IBC)— model codes developed by the International Code Council—versus the prior generation of codes represented by 1990-era design and National Flood Insurance Program requirements. The report found a national benefit of $11 for every $1 invested. ( NIBS)
Upcoming Opportunities
Job Opportunity: Climate & Energy Project Associate, Local Government Commission
The Local Government Commission (LGC) is looking for a passionate and collaborative individual to join the Climate Change and Energy team to support the planning, coordination, and execution of projects related to climate change mitigation, adaptation and resiliency, electrification, and more. The LGC is seeking a motivated, committed individual with strong communications, strategy development, and stakeholder engagement experience. This is an excellent opportunity build expertise in the rapidly evolving field of climate mitigation and adaptation. ( LGC)
Sacramento Tree Foundation seeking community partners for tree planting
The Sacramento Tree Foundation is looking for community partners for its NeighborWoods program which seeks to develop neighborhood forests through community action. The Tree Foundation has a grant to plant trees in disadvantaged areas in the unincorporated County, many of which are in Environmental Justice Communities. If you are interested in partnering with the Tree Foundation to plant trees in your community, please contact Theresa Bible (916-974-4306;, NeighborWoods Organizer for the unincorporated County. ( Link)
Fisheries Habitat Restoration Grants
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), is soliciting proposals for projects that restore, enhance, or protect anadromous salmonid habitat in watersheds of California or projects that lead to process-based restoration, enhancement, or protection of anadromous salmonid habitat, as well as contribute to the objectives of the California Water Action Plan, State Wildlife Action Plan, and fulfillment of CDFW's mission. Particular emphasis is being placed on habitats that will be notably impacted by climate change, and the projects must seek to make those habitats more resilient. Deadline: 3pm, April 16. ( CDFW)
Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program Easement and Planning Grants
The Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation (SALC) Program makes strategic investments to protect agricultural lands from conversion to more GHG-intensive uses. Easement grants have no maximum limit and aim to protect important agricultural lands under threat of conversion through the acquisition of voluntary, permanent agricultural conservation easements. Planning grants provide up to $250,000 to local and regional governments to work closely with local stakeholders to develop local and regional land use policies and implementation activities that integrate agricultural land conservation in a way that reduces or avoids GHG emissions, supports job creation, and benefits AB 1550 populations. The pre-proposal deadline (required only for easement grants) is April 17, and the final deadline for both easement and planning grants is Friday, September 13. ( SGC)
2019 AARP Community Challenge
The AARP Community Challenge funds community-based “quick-action” projects related to housing, transportation, smart cities and public spaces. The goal is to spark change and build momentum to improve livability for people of all ages. Deadline April 17. ( AARP)
Federal Small-Scale Water Efficiency Projects Funding Opportunity
Small-scale water efficiency projects are eligible for a funding opportunity being offered by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Potential projects include installation of flow- measurement devices and municipal meter upgrades. Matching funding of as much as $75,000 is available for each project. Deadline: April 24. (
Funding: Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014
The State Coastal Conservancy will award approximately $20 million in funding from Proposition 1, the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014. The Conservancy’s four priority areas for funding are water sustainability improvements, anadromous fish habitat enhancement, wetland restoration, and urban greening. The Conservancy will prioritize projects that help California communities prepare for the impacts of climate change, achieve multiple benefits, serve disadvantaged communities, and result in quantifiable outcomes. Deadline: April 30, 5pm. ( Link)
Launch your social purpose career with CivicSpark!
CivicSpark, a Governor’s Initiative AmeriCorps program, is currently recruiting 90 Fellows who are interested in serving with local governments in California to address a broad range of resiliency issues. Fellows implement local projects on topics including sustainable transportation, energy efficiency, climate action planning, water conservation, drought response, affordable housing, and rural-broadband. Fellows gain exceptional career experience and training to become future leaders in California’s response to emerging environmental and social equity challenges. CivicSpark is looking for upcoming/recent college graduates who want to gain real-world experience, launch a social purpose career, and make a lasting impact! Learn more about CivicSpark by attending a Fellow Recruitment Webinar. The application for the 2019-20 Fellow service year opens April 1st. ( Link)
Apply today to receive CivicSpark support for your climate and resilience projects
CivicSpark is a Governor’s Initiative AmeriCorps program dedicated to building capacity for local agencies to address community resilience to environmental and socioeconomic challenges such as climate change, water resource management, affordable housing, and mobility. CivicSpark Fellows are AmeriCorp Members that serve at public agencies for 11 months, supporting resiliency-focused research, planning, and implementation projects such as climate action planning, climate risk assessments, waste reduction, stormwater resource planning, housing equity programs, shared mobility, and more. Learn more by attending an informational webinar. Applications will be accepted in waves, with the second on May 3. ( CivicSpark)
SolSmart 2019 City & County Challenge
To encourage and help more local governments become solar-ready, SolSmart is launching its 2019 City & County Challenge Campaign. The Challenge Campaign offers cities and counties new to the SolSmart program a chance to win special prizes and move towards Bronze, Silver, or Gold designation. Simply by holding a one-on-one consultation call with SolSmart staff and submitting a Solar Statement (a letter of interest committing staff time to receive technical assistance in pursuit of designation), your community will be eligible to receive special prizes. The Challenge Campaign will run from March 4 through June 21, 2019. ( Learn more)
California Statewide Park Program
The Statewide Park Program competitive grants will create new parks and new recreation opportunities in critically underserved communities. The current funding round offers $254,942,000. Types of target projects include creating a new park, or expanding or renovating an existing park. Eligible entities include cities, counties, districts, join powers authorities, and nonprofits. Applications must be postmarked or hand-delivered by August 5th, 2019. ( SPP)
Funding: Acorn Foundation's general support grants for environmental justice groups
The Acorn Foundation is dedicated to supporting community-based organizations working to advance environmental conservation, sustainability and environmental justice. The Foundation is particularly interested in small and innovative community-based projects that engage in community organizing to advocate for environmental health and justice; preserve and restore habitats supporting biological diversity and wildlife; and prevent or remedy toxic pollution. The Foundation has an open Letter of Inquiry process for general support grants ($5,000-$10,000) to grassroots organizations. ( Link)
Upcoming Events
The Color of Law: A Conversation about Segregation and Environmental Racism with Author Richard Rothstein
Tuesday, April 9, 11am-12:15pm PDT
Gentrification and displacement are critical topics for cities and neighborhoods, and for redevelopment, as well. The Center for Creative Land Recycling is pleased to welcome Richard Rothstein, author of the 2017 book The Color of Law. Richard will frame the history of segregation in the United States, and help us understand how racial segregation shapes redevelopment decisions today. This is the first in a series of webinars dedicated to equity, displacement and redevelopment, as we explore how these issues have impacted communities, and what local jurisdictions are doing to mitigate the risk of displacement as a result of land recycling. ( Register)
Webinar: Community-Based Climate Resilience Planning, Strategies and Case Studies
Thursday, April 11, 9-10:15am PDT
The presentation will include findings from a multi-year planning process in New York City focused on social equity outcomes in sustainable development projects (now in The Upper Manhatta(n) Project book), and a new partnership between the High School for Environmental Studies and several environmental organizations in which students are prototyping rapid local solutions for the flooding, heat, and other impacts of climate change. ( Register)
Yolo Climate Compact: Zero Net Energy
Friday, April 12, 9-11am
Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District, 1947 Galileo Court, #103 Davis
The Yolo Climate Compact will explore zero net energy (ZNE) as a policy option for local governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet climate goals. Speakers include Peter Turnbull, author of “The Road to ZNE” and program manager for PG&E’s ZNE efforts; David Tilley, Principal Planner for the City of West Sacramento; Richard Bourne, builder and resident of a multi-residential building that produces an average 15% annual electricity surplus; and Jon Hammond, a leader and longtime practitioner of ZNE design. Contact John Mott-Smith (530 400 7622) or Tara Thronson (530 757 5581), aide to Supervisor Don Saylor, for more information.
350 Sacramento Community Forum: Fast Track to Carbon Zero
Saturday, April 13, 9am-4pm
Sacramento City College - Performing Arts Center, 3835 Freeport Blvd, Sacramento
350 Sacramento is hosting a community forum to inspire attendees to expand their ideas of what is possible in the transition to carbon zero. Cities are where innovation and creativity can make a huge difference, transforming urban landscapes into low-carbon, highly desirable communities. Sacramento can be a leader in this exciting and ambitious effort. Come to this Community Forum and learn how we can get the carbon out and create a thriving Sacramento region. ( Register
Webinar: Public Outreach and Dissemination for Climate & Health Messages
Thursday, April 18, 10am
Join the Centers for Disease Control’s Climate and Health Program for a webinar on Public Outreach and Dissemination. Led by climate communication specialist Rob Gould, this webinar will instruct health officials how to package information and work with the news media to disseminate climate and health messages. This webinar will be recorded. ( Register)
Building Community Wealth with Green Stormwater Infrastructure: Stories from the Field
Monday, April 29, 10am PDT
Creating climate-resilient cities means more than investing in infrastructure—it means tackling economic and racial inequality that leaves disinvested communities on the frontlines of climate damage. This webinar explores how building green stormwater infrastructure can be a key intervention point for building community wealth, creating a vibrant economic system where democratic ownership and control creates more equitable outcomes. In particular, green infrastructure could create new opportunities to launch and support social enterprises and worker-owned firms. Based on the recent report by The Democracy Collaborative, Building Resiliency through Green Infrastructure: A Community Wealth Building Approach, the webinar will highlight the perspectives of practitioners on the ground, partners in implementation, and experts in the field of water management. It will explore leading examples already in operation and strategies to expand these models across the country. ( Register)
Registration for the National Adaptation Forum is now open!
The 4th National Adaptation Forum will take place in Madison, WI, from April 23-25, 2019. Attendees will learn how to make their work climate-informed, share insights with others, and develop a stronger network of like-minded peers. Early registration ends March 1, 2019. ( Link)
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 .