Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
August 23, 2017
A biweekly newsletter of the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative
California economy is thriving despite - or because of  - environmental rules
Photo: Grist
According to Next 10's 2017 California Green Innovation Index, after the passage of AB 32 in 2006, statewide per capita emissions fell by 12 percent. For every fossil fuel job, California has 8.5 in solar and wind energy. Most notably, the state's per-capita GDP grew by almost double the national average since cap-and-trade passed. In fact, the state - the sixth largest economy in the world - now also boasts the world's least energy-intensive GDP. "The narrative that strict environmental policies that impact large parts of the economy are always bad is simply not the case," says economist and lead author Adam Fowler. "These policies have pushed innovation, and innovation is always good in a capitalist system." ( Grist)
Trump scraps Obama rule to protect federally funded infrastructure from sea level rise
Photo: Getty/Joe Raedle
Trump rescinded Obama-era flood protections for federally funded buildings and infrastructure projects-like subsidized housing, hospitals, and fire departments-to be built 2-3 ft above the 100-year floodplain, or the height at which there is a 1 percent chance you'll experience an enormous flooding event. Obama's original requirement accounts for future sea level rise predicted by "the best-available and actionable science" and was praised by both conservative and progressive interest groups. Speedily built infrastructure projects are worthless if they become damaged beyond repair in just a few years. Flooding is the US's most expensive and most common natural disaster, costing $260 billion from 1980 to 2013. Federal flood insurance claims average $1.9 billion annually from 2006 to 2015. ( New Republic)
Climate-compounded "chokepoint" failures can disrupt global food supply and markets
Ever more agricultural supplies and grains are bottlenecked in a handful of global "chokepoints", funnels for the world's food supply that may not be as resilient to climate change. More than a sixth of the world's soybean supplies and a fifth's of the world's corn are exported from the US's ports on the Gulf of Mexico, much of it after first passing through Kansas City by truck, rail, or barge. Climate change could put these shipping routes - and global flood supply - in jeopardy, exacerbating the risks of aged docks, dams, and depots. If a Hurricane Katrina-sized storm swamps ports in the Gulf of Mexico at the same time as rains make Brazilian roads impassable, half the world's soybean harvest could be in transit for months. Recommendations include more spending on shipping infrastructure and developing more alternate routes to move food around, and increases in sustainable, small-scale farming across the world. ( Link)
Are we underestimating the risks of simultaneous crop disasters around the world?
Photo: Reuters
A new study of the world's three major corn-producing regions, including China and the US, says extreme weather could affect them all simultaneously, triggering a crisis in food production and famine. Using a novel approach, the British Met Office determined that large-scale water stress has the potential to occur in corn-producing areas where it has not been observed for the last 30 years, and that the chance of severe water stress is much higher than previously thought - one in three years. The group found that there is a 6 percent chance every decade that maize production in China and the US would simultaneously fail due to extreme weather, most likely droughts, affecting more than 60% of global maize production. ( Guardian)
Climate change could lead to key nutrient deficiencies
The populations of 18 countries may lose more than 5% of their dietary protein by 2050 due to a decline in the nutritional value of rice, wheat, and other staple crops. A previous study found that higher levels of atmospheric CO2 will likely reduce the protein, iron, and zinc content of rice, wheat, potatoes, and other foods. Now that research has been combined with UN data on diet, income, and demographics to calculate the number of people at risk. Globally, an additional 150 million will be at risk of protein deficiency through 2050. More than 350 million children aged 1 to 5 and about 1 billion women of child-bearing age live in countries already experiencing high rates of anemia and where the amount of dietary iron is projected to fall by more than 3.8%. Like many climate impacts, the poor would be the most severely affected. ( Link)
Photo: Pexels
Without air conditioning, America's prisons can be unbearable - and deadly
Photo: Mark Murrmann
All across the country, prisons and jails are not equipped with air conditioning, and when temperatures soar, inmates are often trapped in unbearable, life-threatening conditions. In Florida, where most state-run prisons do not have air conditioning, there will be 134 days above 90 degrees in Miami by 2050. Valley Fever, a fungal infection found in the Central Valley, is intensified during heat waves, and affects thousands of inmates during dusty summers. ( Link)
West Nile-carrying mosquitoes on the rise near Elk Grove
Mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus have increased in the Elk Grove area, and authorities are boosting efforts to control their spread. The virus has not been as common this year compared to last, but it is still early in the season. The disease is transmitted when culex mosquitoes bite infected birds. So far in Sacramento County, 63 mosquito samples and 37 dead birds have tested positive for West Nile virus. In Yolo County, 25 mosquito samples tested positive. The authorities also warned of St. Louis encephalitis, carried by the same mosquito species, which is "reemerging throughout the state," including in Placer and Yuba counties. ( SacBee)
UC Davis receives $1 million grant to turn dead trees into energy
In response to Governor Edmund Brown Jr.'s call to remove dead trees to reduce fire risk, the California Energy Commission awarded more than $1 million to the University of California, Davis, for a project to turn forest waste caused by tree mortality into bioelectric energy generation. UC Davis will use the grant to develop an online siting tool that will allow project managers to look at several factors such as environmental impacts, transportation costs, and location of fire hazard severity zones when deciding on where and how to develop a bioenergy power plant that converts woody biomass into electricity. The tool is expected to decrease the pre-development costs associated with siting bioenergy facilities. ( Link)
Highlighting Local Solutions
Resurrecting ancient wines that can survive climate change
The Spanish region of Catalonia is resurrecting wine varieties long thought to be extinct - which just happen to thrive in hotter, drier climates. These revived regional varieties can potentially help the global wine industry prepare for climate change. As temperatures increase, many wine regions will likely become unsuitable for growing popular varieties, with lands suitable for growing wine grapes declining by 25 percent (Chile) to 73 percent (Australia) by 2050. The effects of heat are likely to be even greater for the Mediterranean wine regions like Spain and California, where adaptation for drought will be very important. ( The Atlantic)
Tools and Reports
Voluntary Resilience Standards: An Assessment of the Emerging Market for Resilience
Resilient facilities and infrastructure are a crucial component of community preparedness to natural and manmade hazards and climate risks. This report provides a market characterization of voluntary standards to increase resilience in the built environment. It explores available resources at the facility, neighborhood, and community levels and provides suggested for pathways to expand the growth and implementation of resilient buildings. The report can assist facilities and planners in understanding existing resources, inform state and local leaders in drafting policies to encourage the adoption of standards and resilient building techniques, and help develop strategies for funders and program managers. ( Link)
Upcoming Opportunities
Final SB 1 Planning Grants Guides for Adaptation and Sustainable Communities
CalTrans is releasing the final drafts of the SB 1 Sustainable Communities and Adaptation Planning Grant guides for public review and comment. Caltrans will provide $20 million over three years to local and regional agencies to support resilient transportation infrastructure planning for areas that are potentially vulnerable to climate change. This funding will help these agencies conduct adaptation planning in a way to ensure transportation assets are resilient in the face of climate change. Public comments are due August 31. ( Link)
Health Soils Incentives Program and Demonstration Projects
The California Department of Food and Agriculture is accepting applications for the Healthy Soils Program (HSP). The HSP Incentives Program will award $3.75 million to provide financial assistance for implementation of agricultural management practices that sequester soil carbon and reduce GHG emissions. The HSP Demonstration Projects will award $3 million for projects that demonstrate and monitor specific management practices in agriculture that sequester carbon, improve soil health, and reduce atmospheric GHGs. Both programs require that incentivized practices be implemented for a total of three years, with the third year of project costs required as matching funds. Deadline: September 19, 5pm. ( Link)
2018 Climate Leadership Award
The application period for 2018 Climate Leadership Awards is now open! Award categories include Organizational Leadership, Individual Leadership, Supply Chain Leadership, Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management, and Innovative Partnership. Deadline: September 26. ( EPA)
The 2017 Mayors Challenge: An Innovation Platform for America's Mayors
Part of Bloomberg's American Cities Initiative, this nationwide competition will help hundreds of cities develop, test, and implement bold solutions to emerging challenges. Apply by October 20, and as many as 35 "Champion Cities" will then win up to $100,000 each to test and refine their ideas. Five Mayors Challenge Winners will be selected based on the idea's vision for tackling an urgent challenge, potential for impact and successful implementation, and potential to spread to other cities. One city will win the $5 million grand prize; four others will receive $1 million implementation awards. ( Learn more and apply)
Upcoming Events
Cap-and-Trade Auction Proceeds: Community Meetings on Draft Updates to ARB Funding Guidelines
Thursday, August 31, 10am-noon
Sierra Hearing Room, Cal/EPA Bldg, 1001 I St., Sacramento
You are invited to participate in a community meeting to provide input on the draft updates to the Air Resources Board's funding guidelines for investing cap-and-trade proceeds to reduce GHG emissions, improve public health, and strengthen the economy. Your input will help inform administering agencies in the design and implementation of their California Climate Investments programs. The   draft Funding Guidelines include updated provisions to incorporate the requirements of Assembly Bill 1550 for disadvantaged communities, low-income communities, and low-income households, as well as revisions to reflect lessons learned and feedback from stakeholders during initial program implementation. ( Link)
CalTrans seeks public input on SB 1 Planning Grants Guides for Adaptation
Friday, September 1, noon-2pm
CalTrans Basement Board Room, 1120 N St., Sacramento
CalTrans has released the final drafts of the SB 1 Sustainable Communities and Adaptation Planning Grant guides for public review and comment. This public workshop will discuss the Grant Application Guides and provide the public and stakeholders with a final opportunity to provide feedback. ( Webcast)
Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative Quarterly Meeting
Thursday, September 7, 1-4pm
West Sacramento Community Center, 1075 W Capitol Avenue, West Sacramento
Hosted jointly with the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water, this meeting focuses on traditional ecological knowledge and climate adaptation. At this meeting, we will hear from Tribal representatives about their work addressing climate impacts using traditional ecological knowledge, current challenges, barriers to implementation, and discussion of potential opportunities to collaborate. View the draft agenda and register today.
ARCCA Learning Session: General Plan Guidelines Update
Tuesday, September 12, 1-2.30pm
The Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR) recently completed the first comprehensive update to the   General Plan Guidelines (GPG) since 2003. Legislative changes, guidance documents, a data mapping tool, and additional resources have been incorporated into the new Guidelines. This webinar will provide an overview of the new GPG, with a focus on adaptation, GHG emissions reduction, and environmental justice. Presenters include Michael McCormick, Senior Planner, and Elizabeth Baca, Senior Health Advisor, both with OPR. ( Link)
Webinar: Tools and Resources for Evaluating Collective Impact
Wednesday, September 13, 10-11am
As part of the ongoing rollout of Keeping Our Promise: A Guide for Evaluation in Sacramento's Promise Zone, the UC Davis Center for Regional Change and Converge Consulting are hosting a webinar to explore the tools and recommendations provided in the evaluation guidebook. Whether you're directly involved in the Promise Zone or supporting another place-based initiative, this training will provide useful resources that can be adapted to your work. Please join us to learn more about how this guidebook can support your efforts. ( Register)
Exploring Building Decarbonization through Renewable Heating and Cooling
Tuesday, September 19, 8am-5pm
Sierra Club, 2101 Webster St., #1300, Oakland
This meeting is co-hosted by Green Cities California (GCC) and the Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition (LGSEC) with support from StopWaste and the Sierra Club. The focus is on the transition to renewable heating and cooling systems and how local governments and partners can explore opportunities to advance these initiatives in their communities. This meeting is free for GCC and LGSEC members and city and county nonmembers. Non-members who are not city or county representatives may attend with a $50 registration fee. ( Register)
Webinar: Practical Tools and Resources for Climate Change Planning in the Sierra
Wednesday, September 20, 10-11.30am
Extreme weather events, such as the atmospheric river events that shook the Sierra last winter and the extreme drought conditions that plagued all of California this past decade, have the potential to damage public infrastructure, services and resources, disrupt economic activity, and endanger public safety and health. What can our communities do to prepare for the adverse weather events and variable conditions forecasted to occur in the Sierra Nevada? This webinar is designed to give participants a broad overview of the types of current and projected weather changes; a brief look at the types of adaptation strategies communities are already employing; and an overview of new climate planning tools and resources. ( Link)
Natural Infrastructure for Resilient Communities
Wednesday, September 20, 10-11.30am
This interactive webinar highlights ecological approaches to address mounting risks from climate-related natural hazards. We will discuss emerging evidence of how well-managed ecosystems (e.g. floodplains, beaches & dunes, tidal marshes, etc.), native vegetation, ecosystem engineers, and nature-based features can help reduce disaster risks in ways that sustain people and nature. Participants will learn basic concepts of natural infrastructure along with best practices and incentives for implementation, examine several case studies of natural infrastructure in practice, and become familiar with available resources and opportunities for deeper exploration of the topic. Cost: $195 before September 19, $245 standard. ( Register)
Webinar: Making a Big Impact in Sustainability Science with Big Data
Thursday, September 21, 10.15-11.30am PDT
Issues in sustainability science are increasingly being addressed using "big data" and data analytics. Data-rich modeling techniques can improve systems thinking and contribute to decision making, greener supply chains and optimization of business operations. This webinar demonstrates the application of computational modelling of natural and social processes to identify patterns, trends, and associations. The webinar will be organized around five case studies focused on integrating multi-scale and multi-source data and applying spatial statistical techniques, artificial intelligence algorithms, and systems modeling to derive business insights and strategies. The case studies include behavior and EV drivers, flood risks analysis, urban forest health, and sustainability metrics for a neighborhood or town. ( Link)
Capitalizing on our Diversity: APA California Conference
September 23-26, 2017
Sacramento Convention Center, 1400 J St., Sacramento
Registration is now open for the American Planning Association California Conference. The conference includes sessions on GHG analysis as related to the updated scoping plan, climate justice, climate adaptation, health and equity, and more. ( Link)
Preparing People for Climate Change in California
January 24-25, 2018
Join the International Transformational Resilience Coalition for a conference on the urgency, methods, and benefits of applying psychological and psycho-social-spiritual models to build human resilience for climate adversities. From high levels of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), to financial struggles, racism and other forms of inequity, traumatic stress is epidemic today. Climate change will aggravate all of these existing adversities, and add many new ones as well. This conference will show how California can lead the nation in building widespread levels of personal and psycho-social-spiritual resilience for the hardships generated by rising temperatures and produce multiple benefits for individuals, families, communities, and our planet's climate. Early-bird discount rate ends October 15, 2017. ( Link)
Save the date: 2018 New Partners for Smart Growth
February 1-3, 2018, San Francisco, CA
Mark your calendars for the 17th annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in San Francisco, California. Get involved early in the nation's largest smart growth and sustainability event by becoming a sponsor or a promotional partner. Don't forget to check out presentations and materials from this year's fantastic conference in St. Louis too. ( NPSG)
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.