Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
December 20, 2018
A biweekly newsletter of the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative
We at the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative would like to wish you and your family a happy and safe holiday season. See you in 2019!
News
Progress and problems as UN climate talks end with a deal
Photo: Kacper Pempel/Reuters
The United Nations held the 24th Conference of the Parties in Poland over the past two weeks. The talks have centered on devising a rulebook for implementing the 2015 Paris agreement and raising countries' level of ambition to counter climate change, but progress has been slow. Updates and developments:


  •  The summit agreed on rules for implementing the 2015 Paris agreement, which aims to keep global warming as close to 1.5C (2.7F) as possible. The rulebook includes how governments will measure, report, and verify their emissions-cutting efforts. (Guardian)  
  • The talks made little progress in increasing governments' commitments to cut emissions. The world remains on track for 3C of warming, which scientists says will bring catastrophic extreme weather. However, the EU and scores of developing countries have pledged to toughen their existing commitments to reduce GHG emissions to enable the world to stay within a 1.5C rise in global warming. 
  • More than four hundred investors urged governments to act on climate change "with urgency" or risk the stability of their financial systems. Lobby group The Investor Agenda (IA) issued a statement on behalf of 415 global investors, who collectively manage $32 trillion. Signatories warned that failing to act would create significant risks for the global economy, financial system and society, with global economic losses reaching $23 trillion over the next 80 years. (CNBC)
  • Christiana Figueres, former chair of the UNFCCC, provides reasons for hope: Already, we have achieved things that seemed unimaginable a decade ago. The world is quickly and irrevocably moving towards a clean, cheap and reliable energy system. Over the past decade, the costs of generating solar energy have plummeted by 80%. (Nature)
'Brutal news': global carbon emissions jump to all-time high in 2018
Photo: Michel Euler/AP
Global carbon emissions will jump to a record high in 2018, according to the Global Carbon Budget report, dashing hopes a plateau of recent years would be maintained. The 2.7% rise is due to the growing number of cars and a renaissance of coal use and means the world remains on the track to catastrophic global warming. However, the report's authors said the emissions trend can still be turned around by 2020, if cuts are made in transport, industry and farming emissions. ( Guardian)
Report: Vehicle emissions are keeping California from reaching climate goals
A new report finds that California is not on track to meet regional GHG reduction goals under SB 375 due to rising vehicle miles traveled and GHG emissions from driving. Despite progress in fuel efficiency and cleaner fuels, metropolitan planning organizations are falling short in land use and transportation planning, locking in infrastructure network that puts too many people in single-occupancy vehicles. This lack of progress not only endangers California's ability to achieve its 2030 climate goals, but also public health, equity, economic, mobility, housing, and other benefits. To help meet SB 375 goals, the report includes a discussion of 68 best practices, 8 challenge areas, and ways to overcome these challenges. ( Link)
California's battle against climate change is going up in smoke
Photo: Jonathan Alcorn/AFP/Getty Images
The recent Camp and Woolsey fires have produced emissions equivalent to roughly 5.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, more than three times the total decrease in California's greenhouse gas emissions in 2015. Recently, the Department of the Interior announced that the 2018 California wildfire season is estimated to have released emissions equal to about one year of power use. Currently the California Air Resources Board does not have a good way to accurately calculate GHG emissions from wildfires. ( Link)
Global warming will happen faster than we think
Photo: Gene Blevins/Reuters
The latest IPCC special report on limiting climate change to 1.5 C underplays an alarming fact: global warming is accelerating. Three trends - rising emissions, declining air pollution and natural climate cycles - will combine over the next 20 years to make climate change faster and more furious than anticipated. In our view, there's a good chance that we could breach the 1.5 C level by 2030, not by 2040 as projected in the special report. The climate-modelling community has not grappled enough with the rapid changes that policymakers care most about, preferring to focus on longer-term trends and equilibria. ( Nature)
Save millions of lives by tackling climate change, says WHO
Photo: Jason Lee/Reuters
Tackling climate change would save at least a million lives a year, the World Health Organization has told the UN climate summit in Poland, making it a moral imperative. The economic benefits of improved health are more than double the costs of cutting emissions, and even higher in India and China, which are plagued by toxic air pollution. Air pollution is the best known impact of fossil fuel use, and climate change damages health through heatwaves, storms, floods and droughts, increased spread of infectious disease and the destruction of health facilities. Global warming is also damaging crops and reducing their nutritional value, with the UN now reporting a rise in the number of hungry people going up after decades of decline. ( Guardian)
How climate change is challenging American health care
A major report in The Lancet provides predictions of how climate change is degrading human health, and how it will alter health-care systems in the future. The findings are reliably grim. But in focusing on the health-care implications and the potential damage done to people and their descendants, the report provides a firm backing to the call to climate action. The experts behind the report hope to marry the urgency of climate science with the muscle of America's most successful and most trusted policy experiment-its public-health system. ( Atlantic)
New York City mapped and calculated the economic benefits of every single tree
Adult and youth volunteers helped the city to map every single tree of the five boroughs and learn about tree care and benefits. An online map shows each of the 685,781 registered trees as well as their ecological benefits, such as stormwater retention, energy savings, and air pollution reduction, which are then calculated into economic savings. ( ArchDaily )
Photo_ NYC Parks
Cities, on front lines of climate change, can make outsized difference
Photo: Shutterstock
Cities are essential to fighting climate change, both oversized contributors to the problem, but also,with the right policy, potential saviors when it comes to cutting carbon emissions. Toward a Healthier World, a new report from C40, a global network of cities committed to confronting climate change, argues that progressive urban policy can not only make a significant dent in the problem, but benefit the economy at the same time. The report recommends actions such as revamping transportation systems to bolster walking, cycling, and mass transit, prioritizing transit-oriented development, and introducing zero-emission districts in cities. For building and zoning, cities need to introduce stringent energy-efficiency standards and codes, and work to improve heating, ventilation, and lighting via automation and controls to cut energy usage. ( Curbed)
Tools and Resources
Caltrans Releases Climate Vulnerability Assessments For Portions of Northern California and the Central Valley
Caltrans has released two Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments for Northern California and the Central Valley as part of its effort to understand how and where climate change may impact the State Highway System. The new reports evaluate risks, including extreme temperatures, increased precipitation, storm surge, wildfire risk and sea level rise, and identify specific locations along the State Highway System heavily impacted by frequent wildfires in recent years. The reports are supported by an extensive GIS database and an interactive mapping application for public use, which shows impacted locations and the climate model results. Using data from the studies, Caltrans intends to help evaluate the vulnerability of other modes of transportation through partnerships and data sharing with local and regional agencies. ( Link)
Public Opinion Poll: Livability in the Sacramento Region
Valley Vision is excited to announce the results of a new scientific public opinion survey about quality of life in the Sacramento region. The Sacramento Region is known and valued for its friendly, "small-town feel" that comes with convenient "big city amenities" and a diverse population. While residents say a high quality of life is important to them and their families, survey results show that major issues like poverty, inequality, high housing costs, homelessness, and concerns about how we will grow are making the path forward unclear. Findings expose a clear divide - 49% of respondents want to slow down the building of new housing and 51% want new development to speed up. ( Valley Vision)
From Forests to Faucets: A Watershed Management Partnership
Denver Water and the U.S. Forest Service have a shared interest in improving forest and watershed conditions to protect water supplies and water quality. The U.S. Forest Service administers more than 14.5 million acres of National Forest lands in Colorado, and nearly 90 percent of these lands are located in watersheds that contribute to public water supplies. So the two organizations formed From Forests to Faucets, a watershed management partnership, as a response to a series of wildfires that required $27 million for restoration and repairs to Denver Water's system. More than 48,000 acres of National Forest System lands have been treated so far, accomplishing important fuels reduction, restoration and prevention activities. ( Link)
Upcoming Opportunities
Green Business Programs Available Throughout the State
The California Green Business Network is offering tools, training and funding to start new Green Business Programs in more regions of the State. Green Business Programs strengthen communities by supporting local businesses that operate sustainably. Please email info@greenbusinessca.org. ( Link)
OPR Invites Input on Updated Environmental Justice Chapter in General Plan Guidelines
The Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR) is pleased to invite your input on a revised Environmental Justice (EJ) Chapter in the General Plan Guidelines. OPR was in the midst of the comprehensive General Plan Guideline update when Senate Bill 1000 (Leyva, 2016) passed requiring local jurisdictions with disadvantaged communities to incorporate a separate EJ element or integrate goals, policies and objectives. OPR has done significant outreach across the state with EJ groups, city and county planning departments, state agencies, and many other stakeholders to provide additional guidance on the new statute. The EJ Chapter will be open for public comment until 5pm on December 20; submit comments to sb1000@opr.ca.gov. ( Link)
Provide input on Utility Wildfire Mitigation Plans
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has opened a proceeding to guide and review investor owned electric utilities' wildfire mitigation plans, which are required by SB 901 and are central to California's strategy to prevent and prepare for catastrophic wildfires. Stakeholder review and input is crucial. Participation in this proceeding is your community's opportunity to provide guidance and review of wildfire plan components including: wildfire prevention strategies for electric utilities; protocols for mitigating impacts of public safety power shutoffs; utility procedures for maintenance and inspection of lines; outreach to first responders and customers, including low-income, elderly, disabled, and those with limited English; and restoration of service after a wildfire. Comments can be submitted up to Dec 31, 2018. ( CPUC)
Community Design Project Manager at Local Government Commission
The Local Government Commission (LGC) is a nonprofit organization with decades of experience working with California localities on sustainable land use and transportation solutions. LGC is seeking a dynamic and outgoing person to fulfill the role of Project Manager on its Community Design Team. This person will have the opportunity to: 1) develop, oversee and implement a variety of stakeholder and public participatory planning and technical assistance projects in local jurisdictions across California, and 2) engage with thought leaders in the public and private sector to advance policy development at the state and local level. Deadline: January 4, 2019. ( LGC)
National League of Cities: Leadership in Community Resilience Program Application
The Sustainable Cities Institute (SCI) at the National League of Cities is accepting statements of interest from cities to participate in the 2019 Leadership in Community Resilience program. This year-long assistance and capacity-building program supports city-led projects by focusing on implementation, peer-learning and information sharing. It also includes a $10,000 grant to build local resilience capacity by supporting an implementation project or hosting a mayoral-level engagement event. Summaries of the work from the 2017 and 2018 program can be found on the SCI homepage. Deadline: January 4, 2019. ( Link)
Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Mini Grant Program
SACOG will award mini-grants of up to $3,000 per project in support of small events and non-infrastructure programs or projects that encourage biking, walking, riding transit, carpooling, vanpooling and teleworking, as options for reducing car trips and vehicles miles traveled. Projects that focus on testing a new strategy or tactic for changing travel behavior will be prioritized. Applications considered on a rolling basis until $30,000 has been awarded for each of two application phases. The second phase is open July 15 through December 31, 2018. ( Link)
Cal Fire: Forest Health Grants Program
Cal Fire is soliciting applications for $155 million in projects that will help prevent catastrophic wildfires and restore forest health while sequestering carbon and reducing GHG emissions. The   Forest Health Grants Program will fund projects that proactively restore forest health, protect upper watersheds, promote the long-term storage of carbon in forest trees and soils, and minimize the loss of forest carbon. Conservation easements and land acquisitions are also eligible under the Forest Legacy Program. In addition, up to $3.5 million will be available specifically for applied research studies that examine forest management and health to support forest landowners, resource agencies, and fire management organizations. Deadline: 3pm, January 29, 2018. ( Link)
FEMA FY 2018 Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program and Flood Mitigation Assistance Program
The Pre-Disaster Mitigation program (PDM) funds State, Local and Tribal Governments to implement and sustain cost-effective measures designed to reduce the risk to individuals and property from natural hazards, while also reducing reliance on Federal funding from future disasters. The   Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) Program funds State, Local and Tribal Governments to reduce or eliminate the risk of repetitive flood damage to buildings and structures insured under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). In FY18, the FMA Program will prioritize proposals that address community flood risk by setting aside $70 million for this purpose. Deadline for both programs: January 31, 2019. ( PDM & FMA)
$395 Million Available for Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Round 4
Round 4 of the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) Program is now open for applications. Administered by the Strategic Growth Council and implemented by the Department of Housing and Community Development, the AHSC program funds land use, housing, transportation, and land use preservation projects to support infill and compact development that reduces GHG emissions. Deadline for applying for technical assistance is Nov. 21. Deadline: February 11, 2019. ( Link)
EPA: Environmental Justice Small Grants Program
EPA announced $1.5 million for a new competition cycle for the Environmental Justice Small Grants (EJSG) program. In general, the EJSG program awards grants to community-based organizations that support community-driven projects designed to engage, educate, and empower communities to better understand local environmental and public health issues and develop strategies for addressing those issues, building consensus in the community, and setting community priorities. The current opportunity will emphasize projects that address emergency preparedness and increase resiliency, as well as projects that include the needs of US military veterans and homeless populations. Deadline: February 15, 2019. ( EPA)
Drinking Water for Schools Grant Program
The State Water Resources Control Board is now accepting applications for $9.5 million in grant funding for projects that improve drinking water quality and access on public school campuses in disadvantaged communities. Applications are due March 1, 2019. ( Link)
Upcoming Events
Strategic Growth Council Meeting
Thursday, December 20, 1-4pm
Cal/EPA, Byron Sher Auditorium, 1001 I Street, Sacramento
The Strategic Growth Council will approve funding for the Transformative Climate Communities program, which is expected to award $23 million for the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency's project to revitalize the Rivers District with new affordable housing, a light rail station, urban greening, and more. ( Link)
Sacramento Civic Innovation Challenge Launch Event
Wednesday, January 16, 6.30-8.30pm
The Urban Hive, 1601 Alhambra Blvd #100, Sacramento
You are invited to participate in the launch event for the Sacramento Civic Innovation Challenge! In response to the   Ideas Competition for the Civic Innovation Challenge, stakeholders and thought leaders will be gathering to brainstorm submission ideas. While we are open to many ideas, we will start this discussion with a focus on Healthy Air for All as a comprehensive response to the four topic areas of equity & access, resilience, mobility, and built environment. We are soliciting applications for presenters who can speak for 2-3 minutes in lightning talks that will inspire ideas for discussion in the focus area breakout groups. ( Link)
SACOG Travel Demand Model User Conference
January 22-23, 2019
SACOG Board Room, 1415 L Street, Suite 300, Sacramento
This user conference will focus on hands-on training for model users, dive into how to run and apply the new functionalities of the model on projects, and provide a strong understanding of model structures, features, and model application. ( Register)
California Bioresources Economy Summit 2019
January 29-30, 2019, David Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA
The California Bioresources Economy Summit will bring together policymakers, bioresource experts, technology innovators, community groups, and researchers to explore how the State's bioresources from the forest, agricultural, and urban sectors can help the State adapt to and mitigate climate change, improve air quality, create jobs, and achieve other co-benefits. ( Link)
Preparing for the Health Effects of Drought: A Workshop for Public Health Professionals and Partners
Monday, February 4, 2019, 10am-4pm
Cal/EPA, Sierra Hearing Room, 2nd floor, 1001 I Street, Sacramento
This workshop is hosted by the California Department of Public Health's Climate Change and Health Equity Program as part of the Climate Action Team Public Health Workgroup series. The morning will provide an informational and educational session on the health impacts of drought, and drought projections. Facilitated by the National Drought Mitigation Center, the afternoon session will focus on understanding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preparing for the Health Effects of Drought: A Resource Guide for Public Health Professionals. Webcast available. ( Register)
CRC Quarterly Meeting: Sacramento Valley Regional Climate Symposium
Wednesday, February 6, 2019, 10am-4pm
Multi-purpose Room, UC Davis Student Community Center, 397 Hutchinson Drive, Davis
Join the CRC, leading climate researchers and scientists, state agencies, local jurisdictions, and community leaders at our first quarterly meeting of 2019 to learn about key findings from the   Sacramento Valley regional report and   California's Fourth Climate Change Assessment and opportunities to advance local adaptation initiatives. This workshop will highlight new findings on key climate risks impacting the Sacramento Valley region with a special emphasis on rising temperatures and shifting participation, public health, community planning, and local and land use and natural habitats. Participants will also learn about financing mechanisms, funding opportunities, key tools and resources while also engaging in interactive discussions to inform the update to the State's Adaptation Planning Guide. ( 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 )
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.