Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
February 8, 2019
A biweekly newsletter of the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative
The CRC is excited to announce our newest member and first state agency, the Department of Water Resources! The Department of Water Resources manages California’s water resources, systems, and infrastructure, including the State Water Project in a responsible and sustainable way. Much of their work focuses on preventing and responding to floods, droughts, and catastrophic events, informing and educating the public on water issues, planning for future water needs, climate change impacts, and flood protection, and more!

Thank you to everyone that attended our quarterly adaptation exchange, the Sacramento Valley Regional Climate Symposium. To make our events as valuable for participants as possible, we hope that you can take a few minutes to complete this brief survey and to share your feedback and input. Presentations from the symposium will be up on our website sometime next week.
SMUD announces regional initiative to develop a future mobility center in Sacramento
Building on California’s leadership in tackling GHG emissions, and SMUD’s commitment to electric transportation and innovative mobility solutions, SMUD is funding two feasibility studies to support a future Mobility Center that will foster innovation in the clean transportation sector and serve as a catalyst for carbon reduction and inclusive economic development. The Mobility Center is envisioned as a public-private partnership of governmental entities, leading universities, electric utilities, technology and automotive companies, and venture capitalists. Once up and running, the Mobility Center will support, fund and commercialize new mobility technologies including EVs, autonomous transportation, battery storage, shared mobility solutions, public transit and new business and policy models for adoption on the international stage. ( SMUD)
Are electric cars only for the rich? California is challenging that notion
In the backyard of California’s Capitol sits Franklin Boulevard, a largely industrial area where many residents earn a living keeping old vehicles on the road. The state, which has been aggressively pushing toward an electric-car future, has made few such inroads in this working-class neighborhood. One solution for making electric vehicles accessible to low-income Californians is coming from an unlikely ally: Volkswagen. ( NYT)
The next financial crisis could be caused by climate change
Once you go from understanding climate change as a distant future risk to a clear and present danger that can take down huge companies overnight, you see vulnerabilities everywhere. Events like PG&E’s bankruptcy show that climate change is now testing the limits of society’s ability to manage and define financial risk. This has not yet appeared to sink in for the planet’s top risk assessors: insurance companies. A recent survey of the world’s 80 largest insurers found only one-third “can say their approach to investing is climate-aware.” And 43 percent of the “laggards” named by the survey—that is, insurers with limited or no consideration of financial risks created by climate change—are based in the US. ( Vice) Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty
Corporate America is getting ready to monetize climate change
Bank of America worries flooded homeowners will default on their mortgages. The Walt Disney Co. is concerned its theme parks will get too hot for vacationers, while AT&T Inc. fears hurricanes and wildfires may knock out its cell towers. More than 7,000 companies worldwide, including more than 1,800 from the US, filed reports disclosing their environmental impact, including the risks and opportunities they believe climate change presents for their businesses. The documents reveal how widely climate change is expected to cascade through the economy – disrupting supply chains, disabling operations and driving away customers, but also offering new ways to make money. While many US companies identified “inherent climate-related risks with the potential to have a substantial financial or strategic impact” on their business, others, like Merck, Home Depot, and Apple believe their business could grow, as people need more medicine for increasing tropical diseases, air-conditioners to stay cool, and iPhones for emergency preparedness (but only if the cell phone towers stay up). ( Bloomberg)
Climate change leads to more war and refugees
The most comprehensive study done to assess the link between climate change, war and migration has confirmed that the warming planet is fueling conflicts that lead to more refugees. The peer-reviewed study analyzed sprawling data sets covering drought, battle deaths, ethnicity and political systems, as well as geographic information about refugee flows. The researchers discovered that deteriorating climate conditions played a “a statistically significant role” in the recent waves of migrants fleeing Middle East conflict. Climate change may also contribute to low agricultural yields and gross domestic product – conditions that might set the stage for conflict or compel people to leave a country. For example, Syria’s bloody eight-year-old civil war followed years of droughts and crop failures that caused an internal migration of farmers into city slums already crowded with Iraqi war refugees. Policies to “improve the adaptive capacity to deal with the effects of climate change in developing economies may have additional returns by reducing the likelihood of conflict and forced migration.” ( Bloomberg) Photo: Bloomberg
US intelligence officials warn climate change is a worldwide threat
The nation's intelligence community warned in its annual assessment of worldwide threats that climate change and other kinds of environmental degradation pose risks to global stability because they are "likely to fuel competition for resources, economic distress, and social discontent through 2019 and beyond." The Worldwide Threat Assessment prepared by the Director of National Intelligence added to a swelling chorus of scientific and national security voices in pointing out the ways climate change fuels widespread insecurity and erodes America's ability to respond to it. ( Link) Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty
What the Camp Fire revealed
Natural disasters are polarizing forces. Income and wealth shape who gets hit; how much individuals, insurers, nonprofits, and governments are willing and able to help; and who recovers, as well as to what extent. That dynamic is now evident in Paradise, California, after the Camp Fire, much as it was in Houston after Harvey, Puerto Rico after Maria, New Jersey and New York after Sandy, New Orleans after Katrina, and so many other places after so many other disasters. Across the country, two of the most potent forces in American life—climate change, which portends more frequent and more violent natural disasters, and social stratification—are colliding. And the former stands to make the latter far, far worse. ( The Atlantic) Photo: Terray Sylvester / Reuters
Natural disasters impact children's long-term learning abilities, new study suggests
A new study finds that natural disasters may reduce children’s learning abilities — even years after the event. Researchers from the University of Melbourne analyzed the academic scores of more than 24,600 primary school children in Victoria, Australia two and four years after major bushfires, which burned 1.1 million acres, destroyed two townships, and killed 173 people. Researchers found that reading and numeracy skills did not progress as they should have for the students attending school in areas highly affected by the 2009 fires. This suggests that more post-disaster trauma response need to be provided to children to help them recover. ( Think Progress)
Gone in a Generation: Across America, climate change is already disrupting lives
The continental United States is 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than it was a century ago. Seas at the coasts are nine inches higher. The damage is mounting from these fundamental changes, and Americans are living it. These are their stories. ( Washington Post)
Want to fix obesity and climate change at the same time? Make Big Food companies pay
Obesity, climate change, and malnutrition are among the greatest global crises facing our world today. Wouldn’t it be great if there were solutions to tackle all three problems at once? That might sound far-fetched. But a new report implores us to think about the possibility of big, systemic fixes for these interrelated scourges. Overnutrition, undernutrition, and global warming share common causes: powerful commercial interests that promote overconsumption, “policy inertia,” and weak governance, according to the report. Climate change is expected to make food insecurity worse, as extreme weather events cause droughts, interrupt growing seasons, and change the prices of basic food commodities. ( Vox) Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Tools & Resources
Autonomous Vehicle Heaven or Hell? Creating a Transportation Revolution that Benefits All
While much has been written about how the coming autonomous, electrified, and shared vehicle revolution may change transportation for the better, this report represents the first in-depth analysis of a wide range of mobility, health, and economic implications for marginalized groups like people of color, the poor, the elderly, and those with disabilities. Greenlining’s analysis finds that optimistic scenarios for this revolution – including reduced traffic, cleaner air and less space wasted on parking – won’t come true without action by government to ensure that implementation recognizes their broad impacts, especially the needs of marginalized groups. A transportation revolution that truly benefits all will need to center on FAVES: fleets of autonomous vehicles that are electric and shared, with rules designed to disincentivize personal autonomous vehicles and to promote affordability and access, along with fair labor practices in this new industry. Without such intervention, the autonomous vehicle revolution could lead us to transportation hell, with a growing mobility divide between haves and have-nots. ( Greelining)
Indicators for Sustainable Mobility
Many US cities are failing to connect people to jobs through mass transit, according to a new report from the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy that uses census and employment data to establish 12 new benchmarks for how mass transit systems serve urban populations. More than one third of the US cities surveyed have grown without developing any substantial mass transit systems to serve their populations. Several cities in the South – Memphis, Nashville, and San Antonio – were almost exclusively auto-reliant as the sole transportation option, burdening low-income communities. ( Link)
Upcoming Opportunities
Winter Rice Habitat Incentive Program
The California Winter Rice Habitat Incentive Program provides economic incentives to landowners who agree to manage their properties in accordance with a management plan developed cooperatively by biologists from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Comprehensive Wetland Habitat Program and the landowner. Management plans will require landowners to flood harvested rice fields for a minimum of 70 continuous days during the winter months (October-March). Properties that can maintain water during critical months (January through mid-March) will be given additional points in the ranking process. Workshop: January 28, 10-11.30am, in Colusa. (Applications due: February 11, 2019, 4pm. ( Link)
$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)
Forest Health Watershed Coordinator Grant Program
The Department of Conservation is accepting applications under the Forest Health Watershed Coordinator Grant Program for grant funding for watershed coordinators in the Sierra Nevada/Cascade and North/Central Coast regions. Watershed coordinators will facilitate watershed-scale collaborations, promote integrated watershed management efforts, and support local implementation activities to restore resilience to forestlands. Eligible applicants include local and tribal governments, special districts, and nonprofits. Deadline: Friday, February 15. ( 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)
Urban Greening Program
The California Natural Resources Agency will be accepting concept proposals for the Urban Greening Grant Program until February 28. Approximately $19 million is available. Technical assistance workshops are being held around the state. Deadline: February 28, 5pm. ( Link)
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. ( SWRCB)
Funding: State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program
The State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) provides grants to implement irrigation systems that reduce GHG emissions and save water on California agricultural operations. Eligible system components include soil moisture monitoring, drip systems, switching to low pressure irrigation systems, pump retrofits, variable frequency drives and installation of renewable energy to reduce on-farm water use and energy. Deadline: March 8, 5pm. ( CDFA)
Funding: Wildfire - Assessing and Preparing for Risks under Climate Change
This California Energy Commission (CEC) grant will fund applied research that will fill gaps in knowledge of fire science and apply that new knowledge to improve models to assess wildfire risk for grid operations and planning. The project will develop next-generation wildfire risk models at both local and statewide scales. Such models are needed to help ensure resiliency of the electric grid in the near- and long-terms in the face of the growing wildfire risk under climate change. Pre-application workshop: January 25, 10am. Deadline March 13, 5pm. ( Link)
Green Infrastructure Grant Program
The California Natural Resources Agency is pleased to release for public comment its draft guidelines for the Green Infrastructure (GI) grant program. The GI grant program, funded by Proposition 68, will fund multibenefit green infrastructure projects in or benefiting disadvantaged or severely disadvantaged communities. Comment deadline: March 21, 2019. ( Link
Request for Information: Transformative Climate Communities Program
The Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) Program intends to develop a short list of Program Evaluation Technical Assistance providers that can work with Round II awardees to assist with data collection and program evaluation. The Program Evaluation Technical Assistance provider will work with the Round II awardees throughout the five-year grant implementation period and for two additional years during the program performance period. Awardees were required to budget for these services and will select a Program Evaluation Technical Assistance provider from the list to contract with directly. Deadline: March 15, 2019. ( Link)
Funding: CalEPA's Environmental Justice Small Grants
The CalEPA Environmental Justice Small Grants Program offers funding to assist non-profit community organizations and federally-recognized Tribal governments to address environmental justice issues in areas disproportionately affected by environmental pollution and hazards. Priority is given to projects that address one or more of program goals, which include addressing climate change through community-led solutions and capacity-building. Deadline: March 21. ( CalEPA)
Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program
The 2018-19 Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program (SALC) grant application period is now open! The SALC program utilizes Cap-and-Trade proceeds to protect agricultural lands on the outskirts of cities from development through agricultural conservation easements and planning grants. The pre-proposal deadline is Wednesday, April 17 and the final application deadline is Friday, September 13. ( SGC)
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. Pre-grant webinar: January 29, 10am. Deadline: April 30, 2019, 5pm. ( Link)
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
Yolo Climate Compact
Friday, February 8, 2019, 9-11am
Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District, 1947 Galileo Court, #103, Davis
It’s a given that staff resources and funding are limiting factors in implementing sustainability goals and policies generally, as well as Climate Action Plans specifically. This meeting will focus on staffing and resources Yolo County jurisdictions are currently using to implement sustainability, renewable energy, and energy efficiency goals, both within municipal facilities and programs as well as in the community at large. The discussion will also include ideas and examples to improve the effectiveness of current programs.
Planning for 19%: Tackling the Capital Region’s GHG Reduction Target
Friday, February 8, 2019, 11.30am-1.30pm
The California Endowment, 1414 K St #500, Sacramento
The Cleaner Air Partnership will explore the SB 375 mandate to reduce GHG emissions in the Capital Region to 19% below 2005 levels by 2035. Attaining these critical GHG reductions will require coordinated transportation, housing, and land use planning as well as new partnerships between public agencies, business leaders, environmental advocates, and others. ( Register)
California's Human Rights Crisis: A webinar on inadequate access to water by homeless residents
Friday, February 15, 11.30am-1pm
Access to water is an international human right, officially recognized by California through Assembly Bill 685. Although everyone should be able to enjoy this right equally, a recent report commissioned by the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water (EJCW) reveals that as California’s housing crisis worsens, many of the 134,278 Californians experiencing homelessness lack access to these basic needs because they are overlooked or in some cases, overtly discriminated against. This webinar will engage participants in conversation with a panel of experts on several key themes, such as how homeless residents access water, potential impacts to public health, waterways, and quality of life, and the perceived false choice between housing and meeting basic needs first. ( Register )   
Best Practices for Effective Climate & Health Communication: Social Media
Thursday, February 28, 10am
Social media experts from behavior change agency Marketing for Change will share tips and guidelines for using social media to communicate how a changing climate is impacting local public health. The webinar will be recorded and is the second in a series from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on best practices for effective climate and health communications. The first webinar can be viewed here. (Register)
6th California Climate & Agriculture Summit
March 4-5, 2019
The first day features tours of three climate-friendly farms in Yolo and Solano Counties, and the second day will be a full day of plenary, workshop and poster presentations about the latest science, policy and practice related to climate and agriculture. This summit brings together a diverse group of over 350 farmers and ranchers, researchers, agriculture professionals, agriculture and environmental nonprofit organizations, and local and state policymakers and government agencies. The California Climate & Agriculture Network hosts a summit once every two years, and it usually sells out, so register now! ( Register)
Green Infrastructure Grant Program Public Hearing
Thursday, March 7, 9.30-11.30am
Cal/EPA - Sierra Hearing Room, 1001 I Street, Sacramento
The California Natural Resources Agency will be hosting a public hearing on draft guidelines for the Green Infrastructure Grant Program, which will fund multi-benefit green infrastructure projects in or benefiting disadvantaged or severely disadvantaged communities. Webcast available. ( Link)
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 .