Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
January 10, 2018
A biweekly newsletter of the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative
Happy New Year! The Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative is gearing up for a busy and exciting year. We are delighted to share that we have been awarded a Caltrans Adaptation Planning Grant of $487,775 to help address and reduce the urban heat island effect for the Capital Region. Our project will model the regional heat island effect and develop recommendations and strategies to reduce heat exposure for communities and transportation infrastructure, with a focus on the needs of disadvantaged communities. Extreme heat will threaten public health and air quality for the Capital Region, as well as damage infrastructure and increase energy demand. By helping to deploy strategies such as cool roofs, cool pavements, and green infrastructure, our project will help improve the Capital Region's resilience to extreme heat, protect transportation infrastructure, and improve safety, quality of life, and comfort for communities.
The most expensive weather year ever: The true cost of natural disasters
Photo: Gene Blevins / Reuters
Despite devastating storms like Katrina and Maria, wildfires, and tornadoes, the government does not have a full accounting of the budget effect of extreme weather-nor a sense of how more-frequent and more-intense storms might tax public coffers in the years to come. Aside from losses and the direct costs of disaster relief and recovery, there is also the cost of cuts to other agencies to free up money for disasters, and the burden of increased spending on social insurance and safety-net programs. Lost tax revenue from closed businesses and increased unemployment will impact local and state budgets. More broadly, catastrophic weather events change individuals' and businesses' economic decision-making, with people shifting their behavior away from long-term investments (college) toward short-term needs-with a profound longer-term effect on the economy that is not always apparent in a jobs report or a GDP number. (  The Atlantic)
Credit rating agency warns cities to prepare for climate change
Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
One of the largest credit rating agencies in the US is warning cities and states to prepare for the effects of climate change or risk being downgraded. In a new report, Moody's Investor Services explains how it assesses the credit risks to a city or state from short-term "climate shocks" like a wildfire, hurricane or drought, or a longer-term "incremental climate trend" like rising sea levels or increased temperatures. Community preparedness for climate risks and their adaptation actions will also be taken into account. ( NPR)
After California's most destructive fire season, a debate over where to rebuild homes
Photo: Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times
The question of rebuilding is emotionally and politically fraught. Rebuilt homes could soon be at risk again from a fire cycle that experts say is shortening from decades to only years. But as thousands of property owners deal with the loss of homes and possessions, their ordeal also highlights the moral impediment to asking them to surrender their land. Cal Fire plans to revise its fire-risk maps next year and will likely include even more neighborhoods based on updated fire risk understanding. But the areas designated as very high hazard are so extensive - encompassing half a million households in Southern California alone - that they have little value for zoning decisions or pinpointing particular houses or neighborhoods for more aggressive prevention, such as mandatory retrofits. Some proposed recommendations include preventative purchases of land or development rights, discouraging development in fire-prone areas - only 16% of the wildland-urban interface has been developed in the West - and having local agencies shoulder more of the costs of fire suppression, losses, and recovery. ( LA Times)
Three ways the real estate industry can adapt to climate change
Photo: Shutterstock/MDay Photography
Residential real estate markets are increasingly vulnerable to climate change. People are beginning to recognize this new reality - and markets are starting to reflect the change. This shift present opportunities and risks for developers, lenders and investors that do business in this market. Understanding these dynamics will help them better navigate the challenges and capitalize on the opportunities. Here are three ways they can do so: help municipalities adapt; build with resilient designs; and move to higher ground. ( GreenBiz)
California dam inspections find multiple issues that go unfixed
The State of California is excellent when it comes to dam inspections, flagging small problems before they turn serious, but dam owners are slow to fix these issues, according to a report from the Sacramento Bee. Owners of some of California's most important dams often allow deficiencies to linger for years, even though they are cited repeatedly in annual inspections. While the problems can be small, they can have considerable consequences overtime. The Bee's report focused on 93 dams, out of 1,249 under state authority, that were ordered to carry out comprehensive reviews after the Oroville Dam crisis. All but two are considered high-hazard facilities, meaning that a failure could kill people downstream. ( Sac Bee)
Six ways Californians can prevent devastating floods
Photo: Getty Images
Despite its droughts, California is at serious risk of a devastating flood. According to UC Berkeley, Sacramento recently surpassed New Orleans as the American city most in danger of flooding; the cost of a massive flood in Sacramento would cost at least $25 billion. In 50 years, the San Joaquin River flow is expected to be 60 to 80 percent greater than it is today. Strategies to reduce flood risk include restricting building in floodplains; fully funding the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan; using new flood warning and mapping technologies; and adopting flood-resistant urban planning strategies, such as green infrastructure. ( Link)
Extreme weather explicitly linked to anthropogenic GHG emissions for the first time
Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty
Basic theory suggests that climate change will lead to more extreme weather, but making the link to individual events is difficult. But the science has advanced over, and now, for the first time, climate researchers are reporting that some weather events would have been outright impossible without the warming influence of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Specifically, the record heat of 2016 would have been impossible without elevated GHG emissions. These results suggest that the climate is entering uncharted territory, and that would mean that weather will increasingly fall outside the historical norm. ( Link)
Tools and Resources
Built to Last: Challenges and Opportunities for Climate-Smart Infrastructure in California
Extreme weather especially impacts California's aging and deteriorating infrastructure, putting residents and businesses at risk. This Union of Concerned Scientists white paper outlines key principles, barriers, and recommendations to strengthen the climate resilience of California's infrastructure system, and ensure it will continue to deliver key services for many decades to come. Recommendations include updated standards and codes; costs of climate change and benefits of climate resilience incorporated into economic assessments; meaningful climate-smart criteria for use of public funds; financial transparency of climate risks for public infrastructure projects; and better inter-jurisdictional and cross-sectoral coordination. ( Link)
Upcoming Opportunities
Hazard Mitigation Grant Program: October 2017 Wildfires
The California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) has a new funding opportunity available through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) as a result of a presidentially declared disaster for the October 2017 Wildfires (DR-4344). HMGP can fund eligible project and planning activities for eligible subapplicants in accordance with FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) Guidance. Cal OES invites you to submit a Notice of Interest (NOI) for eligible Hazard Mitigation Project and Planning activities. Deadline: January 30, 2018. ( Link)
Caltrans now accepting applications for Round 2 of Adaptation Planning Grants
Caltrans is making available $40.8 million for transportation planning projects statewide, including $29.5 million in Sustainable Communities Grants, $4.3 million in Strategic Partnership Grants, and $7 million for adaptation planning grants to reduce climate impacts on the transportation system. Visit the Caltrans site to find the 2018-19 Grant Application Guides, application forms, required templates, and presentations and events. Deadline: February 23, 2018, at 5pm. ( Link)
Cal FIRE announces new round of funding for three grant programs
Up to $200 million is now available through CAL FIRE's Forest Health grants (including conservation easements through the California Forest Legacy Program) and Fire Prevention grants. Concept Proposals will be due on February 21, 2018 by 3pm. Up to $20 million in grant funds is available through CAL FIRE's Urban and Community Forestry program. Concept Proposals will be due on February 26, 2018 by 3pm. Additionally, CAL FIRE will continue to partner with the California Conservation Corps (CCC) by making $5 million available to the CCC's for Forest Health and Fire Prevention activities. ( Link)
EPA: $3 million available for 2018 Environmental Education Local Grant Program
EPA will award three to four grants of $50,000 to $100,000 each for locally focused environmental education projects in each of the 10 EPA regions. This grant program supports projects that promote environmental awareness and stewardship and provide people with the skills to take responsible actions to protect the environment. The 2018 program includes support for projects that reflect the intersection of environmental issues with agricultural best practices, conservation, food waste management, and natural disaster preparedness. Deadline: March 15. ( EPA)
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 first phase will run from January 16 through June 30, 2018 The second phase will open July 15 through December 31, 2018. ( Link)
MIT Climate CoLab Voting open for crowdsourced climate change innovations
Vote for the top innovative ideas on how to tackle climate change at MIT Climate CoLab, an online platform where over 90,000 community members from around the world work together to develop and select proposals to help solve this massive, complex issue. This year, Climate CoLab launched seven sector-specific contests to address climate change. From now until Jan. 15, the public are invited to vote for one finalist in each contest. ( MIT)
Partners for Places: Request for Proposals
Partners for Places is a matching grant program that creates opportunities for cities and counties to improve communities by building partnerships between local government sustainability offices and place-based foundations. The grant program provides partnership investments between $25,000 and $75,000 for one year projects, or $50,000 and $150,000 for two year projects, with a 1:1 match required by one or more local foundations. Deadline: January 29, 2018. ( Link )
California Climate Investments: Reaching Out to Communities
The California Air Resources Board is partnering with the Foundation for California Community Colleges to help connect individuals, households, and community organizations with funding available through California Climate Investments (CCI). Outreach efforts include an online resource center, bilingual outreach materials, an informational hotline, and community-interest survey, and digital and direct outreach in disadvantaged and low-income communities statewide. To help us understand your needs and preferences to serve your community better, please take   this survey and share with your networks today.
Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program 2018 Request for Proposals
The Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration grant program seeks to develop community capacity to sustain local natural resources for future generations by providing modest financial assistance to diverse local partnerships focused on improving water quality, watersheds and the species and habitats they support. The Five Star and Urban Waters program will award approximately $2 million in grants nationwide. Full Proposals due January 31, 2018. ( Link)
Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Grants
The Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreement Program provides funding to support community-based organizations to collaborate and partner with local stakeholder groups (e.g., local businesses and industry, local government, medical providers) as they develop and implement solutions that address environmental and/or public health issues for under-served communities. EPA anticipates awarding 10 awards of up to $120,000 each. Proposals are due Friday, February 16, 2018 by 11:59 pm, Eastern Time. ( Link )
California EPA: Environmental Justice Small Grants Program
At least $750,000 will be available during this funding cycle to eligible nonprofit community groups and federally recognized tribal governments to address environmental justice issues in areas disproportionately affected by environmental pollution and hazards across California. The maximum grant amount is $50,000, and the grant term is 12 months. Deadline Wednesday, February 28, 2018, 5pm Pacific Time. ( Link )
Upcoming Events
Webinar: CAP-Map Launch and Demo
Thursday, January 11, 2-3pm
Join Office of Planning and Research and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to hear about a new resource for local governments, the CAP-Map, which aggregates climate policies from local jurisdictions across California. This webinar will provide a demo of the tool's features, relationship to other State efforts such as the general plan guidelines, and will serve as a forum for feedback. We hope you will join us to learn more about this exciting new resource, and to help CARB ensure that it accurately captures your city or county's climate efforts. ( Link)
Webinar: Financing Clean Energy in Your City: An Introduction to Urban Green Banks
Wednesday, January 17, 9-10.30am
As cities seek to accelerate their transition to clean energy-not only to help reverse climate disruption, but also to make their local economies more vibrant and their communities more equitable and resilient-financing remains a large barrier. That's why a growing number of countries, cities, and communities are turning to green banks for innovative financing to support their clean energy transition. This webinar, hosted by the Institute for Sustainable Communities in partnership with the Coalition for Green Capital, will share how green banks work and feature success stories from the nation's leaders on green banks. ( Register)
Webinar: Impacts of New Mobility Services on the Use of Other Travel Modes in California
Wednesday, January 17, 10-11am
Emerging transportation services, such as car-sharing and ride-hailing, are quickly changing how people travel. This webinar will highlight new research from Dr. Giovanni Circella that explores the factors affecting the adoption of these new services, how frequently these services are used, and the effect they have on the use of other travel modes, including public transportation and driving alone. Insights presented in this webinar come from an ambitious data collection effort funded by Caltrans on the travel trends and lifestyle preferences of millennials and members of Generation X in California, and their relationships with residential location, technology adoption, car ownership, travel behavior, and future aspirations to purchase a vehicle. ( Link)
US Federal Fire and Forest Policy: Emphasizing Resilience in Dry Forests
Wednesday, January 17, noon-1pm
UC Center Sacramento, 1130 K Street, Room LL2, Sacramento
Current US forest fire policy emphasizes short-term outcomes versus long-term goals. This perspective drives managers to focus on the protection of high-valued resources, such as ecosystem-based or developed infrastructure, at the expense of forest resilience and adaptation. One of the most difficult obstacles to revising forest fire policy is that agency organizations and decision-making processes are not structured in ways to ensure that fire management is thoroughly considered in management decisions. If increases in forest restoration fail to accompany the change in how large wildfires are funded, then US fire suppression costs will remain high while resilience will continue to decline. New federal partnerships with States and local governments are needed to address this problem. ( Link)
Webinar: Electric Vehicle Corridor Planning in the Western United States
Monday, January 22, 11am-12.30pm
City and state governments across the country are working at a rapid pace to expand the number of EV charging points. In the Western US, coalitions of public agencies are working across state boundaries to create new EV corridors to link entire regions. What are the barriers to EV corridor planning? How can public agencies build effective coalitions? What are the keys to successful EV corridors? Join us for a webinar featuring leaders of Western State EV corridors. ( Register)
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)
There is still time to register for New Partners for Smart Growth Conference
February 1-3, 2018, San Francisco, CA
There is still time to register for the 17th annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in San Francisco. Eight thematic tracks include "One Water" for Resilient Communities, Adapting to a Changing Climate, and Building Capacity in Small Towns and Rural Communities, while the themes of smart growth and equity are woven throughout the program. ( NPSG)
Sacramento Tree Foundation: The Significance of School Grounds
Thursday, February 8, 11.30am-1pm
Sacramento Tree Foundation, 191 Lathrop Way, Sacramento
As part of the California Urban Forest Council's "Learn at Lunch" series, Dr. Bill Sullivan will present a discussion of how the built environment impacts human health and wellbeing, and how we can create settings that promote health and wellness for individuals, families, and our community. Bring your lunch and enjoy an intimate talk as we explore how we can create spaces that inspire, invigorate, and improve our lives. ( Link)
Save the date for the 3rd California Adaptation Forum
August 28-29, 2018, Sacramento, CA
Join the Local Government Commission and the State of California at the 3rd California Adaptation Forum taking place August 28-29 (with pre-forum workshops on August 27), 2018, in Downtown Sacramento. The Forum gathers a multidisciplinary audience of 600+ climate leaders to foster knowledge exchange, innovation, and mutual support to transition from adaptation awareness to planning and action through a series of engaging plenaries, sessions, workshops, networking activities, and more. ( CAF)
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.