Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
August 24, 2016
A biweekly newsletter of the Climate Readiness Collaborative

And the mercury keeps climbing: Not only was July the hottest month in recorded history, but each of the past nine months has also set records for their respective months. 2016 is virtually certain to be the hottest year on record. July's record temperature was striking for scientists, as it came as the impact of El Niño faded, driving just 0.2C of the 1.3C of warming above the pre-industrial average. Whatever the cause, we are seeing the effects of this unprecedented heat everywhere: in droughts, in California's multiple wildfires, and in the storms that have returned to Louisiana yet again. 

With the California Adaptation Forum happening in two weeks in Long Beach, we will be sending you daily digests of all of the forum highlights instead of our regular newsletter. Be on the lookout for the digests on September 6th, 7th and 8th! We also look forward to seeing many of you in person at the event!

P.S. It is not too late to register for the Forum! You can learn more and register here. Register by Monday, August 29th to avoid the $25 late fee! And don't forget to u se CRC's special discount code CAF16PPCRC to receive $25 off your registration!
County of Sacramento fleet adopts renewable diesel
In switching from conventional petroleum diesel to Neste Renewable Diesel made from waste and residues, the County of Sacramento will reduce up to 8,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from its fleet annually - an up to 80 percent reduction. In addition, renewable diesel will reduce tailpipe emissions and improve air quality. The County will be using renewable diesel in a range of heavy-duty vehicles including more than 400 municipal public works and specialty vehicles. Other Californian fleets using renewable diesel include San Francisco, Oakland, Walnut Creek, Carlsbad, Google, and UPS. ( Link
Sacramento City Council approves ordinance to foster urban forest
The Sacramento city council unanimously approved an ordinance to protect Sacramento's existing trees and foster expansion of the urban forest. The ordinance sets up a public process for city tree removals, creates a funding source and regulations for planting new trees when older ones are removed, imposes higher fines for illegal tree removals. ( SacBee)
Health risks from wildfires to increase in the western U.S.  
Photo: Peter Weber via Shutterstock
A surge in major wildfires in the Western U.S. due to climate change will expose tens of millions of Americans to high levels of air pollution in the coming decades, according to a new study. The researchers estimated air pollution from past and projected future wildfires in 561 western counties, and found that by mid-century more than 82 million people will experience "smoke waves," consecutive days with high air pollution related to fires. The regions likely to receive the highest exposure to wildfire smoke include northern California and western Oregon. The length of the smoke wave season (the period between the first and last smoke wave day) is estimated to increase by an average of 15 days in over 63% of the counties.( Yale)
California's 2016 wildfire season thus far, in numbers.
California currently has 9 fires over 25 acres or more. More than 3,800 fires have scorched over 112,900 acres of state land since January - a 20 percent increase from the same time period last year, and well above of the five-year average of 3,200 fires and 85,900 acres. Counting fires on federal land, the 2016 total thus far is 4,600 fires over 306,000 acres. In June, the Forest Service` estimated that 26 million trees have died over 760,000 acres in the Sierra Nevada area - bringing the total to 66 million over four years of severe drought. ( WashPost
All federal government agencies now must consider climate change
The Council on Environmental Quality released final guidance requiring federal agencies to evaluate climate change as part of the environmental review required by the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) for all federal actions. When possible, agencies must quantify climate impacts, such as the quantity of additional GHG emissions, including indirect emissions, resulting from a new project, permit, or other agency action - or, alternatively, how much carbon it may sequester. The guidance also asks them to consider how to do things differently, which could help prepare the U.S. better for a warming climate. ( WashPost)
Disaster after disaster taxing emergency management and disaster recovery 
Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFPGetty Images
Disaster recovery efforts are currently ongoing in at least six states, while California and other western states are dealing with wildfires. These disasters are now the new normal - and the emergency management system in the US does not have the capacity to mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from so many simultaneous disasters. Disaster recovery is especially arduous and requires the sustained dedication of resources and people over a long period of time. Because so many communities are still recovering from past disasters, the entire system is taxed, and disaster recovery non-profits, in particular, need help. (Vox)
What we can - and can't - learn from the floods in Baton Rouge
An authoritative, accessible single source of information on road closures and fast-rising water levels, smart land-use planning restricting development in Special Flood Hazard Areas, expanded mandatory flood insurance, and flood-proof construction standards would help cities prepare for flooding and minimize damages. But even the best preparation could not have entirely saved Baton Rouge from the overwhelming effects of 25 inches of rain in 3 days. ( City Lab
NOAA launches first national water model to forecast flooding
Photo: NOAA
Paving the way for the U.S.'s greatest yet improvement in flood forecasting, this new NOAA tool uses data from more than 8,000 USGS gauges to simulate conditions for 2.7 million locations in the contiguous U.S. The National Water Model will generate hourly forecasts for the entire river network and help pinpoint floods as many as three days in advance. The model will provide more accurate, detailed, and timely information for emergency managers, reservoir operators, first responders, farmers, and more. As the model evolves, it will provide street-level forecasts and inundation maps to improve flood warnings, as well as water quality forecasts. ( NOAA)
Climate change is pushing people out of their homes
In San Bernardino, 82,000 people were ordered to evacuate when an explosive wildfire hit with unprecedented intensity. In the same week, Louisiana saw 1-in-1000 year flooding and an Alaska village voted to relocate from the coast. Yet the topic of how climate change can displace people tends to be more widely discussed outside of the United States than within it. Few places have seriously addressed the likelihood that there may be large-scale movements inland from many coastal areas. ( Washington Post)
When climate adaptation plans hurt the urban poor
Photo:Reuters/Shannon Stapleton
After Katrina, New Orleans proposed replacing certain heavily damaged neighborhoods with green-space and water-absorbing parks - a good idea, except that the neighborhoods selected for razing were overwhelmingly black, while similarly damaged White neighborhoods were spared. This is just one of many examples of "urban adaptation injustice", in which cities ignore the needs of low-income areas and communities of color, or worse, exacerbate existing inequities. To help climate action planning create more equitable cities, the NAACP has created a checklist of demographic, environmental, and economic indicators to help planners. ( CityLab)
Resources and Tools
Sierra CAMP: Policy Recommendations for the 2017 update of Safeguarding California: Reducing Climate Risk
This policy white paper, from our partner climate adaptation collaborative Sierra CAMP, synthesizes biophysical research and the policy expertise of the Sierra Nevada region to make recommendations for the state's 2017 update of its climate adaptation plan Safeguarding California: Reducing Climate Risk. The paper examines climate impacts on the Sierra Nevada region and analyzes the opportunities for climate mitigation and adaptation. ( Link)
U.S. EPA: Climate Change Indicators in the United States
EPA has released the 2016 edition of Climate Change Indicators in the U.S., which shows compelling and clear evidence of long-term changes to our climate, and highlights impacts on human health and the environment in the US and globally. The report contains observed trend data on 37 climate indicators, including seven new ones, and a feature on climate and health.  ( US EPA)
Upcoming Opportunities
Join the Smart City Collaborative to develop technology solutions for transportation
In partnership with Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs, Transportation for America is launching a new national, multi-city collaborative to help cities use technologies to meet their transportation challenges. The Smart City Collaborative will bring cities into working groups, develop pilot projects, share successes and failures, and engage with one another to come up with new, creative solutions to the problems at hand. To join the Smart City Collaborative, please fill out a short application (deadline August 31). There is also a State of the Smart City benchmarking survey for all cities to establish a baseline to understand what technologies, strategies, and tools cities are currently employ. ( Link)
California Climate and Agriculture Summit: Request for Proposals 
The California Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN) is hosting the fifth California Climate and Agriculture Summit (Feb. 28-March 1, 2017) and is seeking proposals for workshops, plenary speakers, and poster presentations. The summit explores the science, policy, and practice of climate change and agriculture in California. Participants include farmers and ranchers, agency staff, agricultural professionals, policymakers, and advocates. Deadline: September 2, 2016. ( Details)
CivicSpark: Water Action Fellowship - Receive Project Support to Advance Your Water Initiatives
CivicSpark is still accepting project applications for the 2016-17 service year! CivicSpark: Water Action Fellowship helps local governments build their capacity to address some of California's toughest water resource management challenges.  Fellows work on specific research, planning, or implementation projects for 11 months to improve local water security, enhance stewardship, and better integrate land-use planning with watershed management. To find out more, please visit our website or contact Danielle Dolan, Water Program Manager,
Proposed California Compliance Plan for the Federal Clean Power Plan
To comply with the Clean Power Plan, states are required to submit state compliance plans for review and approval by U.S. EPA. The Proposed Plan is designed to comply with this important federal rule while ensuring smooth operation of California's existing suite of climate programs, including the Cap-and-Trade Program. Comments are due September 19, 2016, at 5pm. ( Link)
National Adaptation Forum: Call for Session Proposals
The National Adaptation Forum is now accepting proposals for symposia, training sessions, and working groups that reflect the best thinking in the adaptation field, informed by theory, research, and practice, on key subjects related to the focal topics and cross-cutting themes. Deadline: September 30, 2016. View instructions and apply today.
Upcoming Events
Webinar: New Clean Energy Financing Tools for Local Governments
Thursday, August 25, 1-2pm PST
Local governments will learn about tools and products provided by the State of California to help promote clean energy projects for residents and businesses. Learn how your local government can receive up to $22,000 for free co-branded marketing materials and other marketing ideas to promote unbiased clean energy financing tools with the "State of Savings" program, part of Energy Upgrade California. Also learn about updates to the California Hub for Energy Efficiency Financing's Residential Energy Efficiency Loan product, which grants homeowners an unsecured alternative to PACE and other financing vehicles. ( Register)
Webinar: California Forest & Climate Policy: What it Means for the Sierra
Monday, August 29, 12.30-2pm PDT
Sierra Nevada forests are critical to Sierra communities and to the entire state. And yet, the Sierra is experiencing mass tree mortality with 66 million tree dies offs the last six years alone, leading to greater wildfire risk and other severe vulnerabilities. What can we do to protect the Sierra? In this webinar, we'll give you the basics of forest health and what needs to be done on the ground. Then we'll take a look at California forest policies and their overlap with climate policy, and explore opportunities to increase investment in Sierra forest restoration. ( Register)
Upgrade Your Hazard Mitigation Plans to Climate Ready and FEMA Funding Eligible
Thursday, September 1, 10-11.30am PDT
FEMA now requires communities seeking funding for disaster preparedness to integrate climate into their Hazard Mitigation Plans (HMPs). However, guidelines for how to integrate climate are hard to find. This session will examine the HMP process opportunity, including real world examples of communities integrating climate and hazard mitigation planning. Tools and resources for practitioners will be shared for practical how to applications. $25. ( Link)
Register for the California Adaptation Forum with CRC's Special Discount
September 7-8, Renaissance Long Beach Hotel
Connect with a diverse audience of over 600 local, regional, and state leaders who are committed to addressing California's adaptation needs. The 2016 California Adaptation Forum will feature a variety of breakout sessions on essential adaptation topics that reflect the diverse needs and challenges facing California, regional project tours highlighting adaptation efforts in Southern California, pre-forum workshops on tools and strategies for implementing adaptation solutions, and numerous networking opportunities. Use CRC's special discount code CAF16PPCRC to receive $25 off your registration! ( CAF)
Webinar: Healthy Cities in the Era of Climate Change
Monday, September 19, 10.15-11.45am PDT
Climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century according to leading medical journal The Lancet. But the Lancet also concluded that "Tackling climate change could be the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century." Indeed, many climate mitigation actions - reducing fossil fuel use; promoting walkable, bikeable cities; supporting sustainable, local agriculture - offer significant benefits for public health. This free webinar, with panelists from Health Care Without Harm, the Public Health Institute, and We Act, will explore the possibilities for "win-win" solutions to climate change and health. ( 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.