Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
January 11, 2017
A biweekly newsletter of the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative

As we prepare to say goodbye to the Obama presidency, it's time to reflect on eight years of unprecedented progress on climate and clean energy action. For the first time, we have a global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which U.S.-China climate diplomacy was instrumental in negotiating. From 2009 to 2016, the U.S. economy grew by 10 percent while energy-sector greenhouse gas emissions declined by 9.5 percent - and unemployment fell from a high of 10% during the recession to 4.6% in November 2016. Over two million Americans now work in energy efficiency, and more people work in solar than the coal industry. Electricity generated from solar energy has grown over 50 fold and more than trebled from wind energy. Writing in Science, President Obama argues that the economic benefits will continue to drive the growth of the U.S. clean economy. He concludes, "Despite the policy uncertainty that we face, I remain convinced that no country is better suited to confront the climate challenge and reap the economic benefits of a low-carbon future than the United States and that continued participation in the Paris process will yield great benefit for the American people, as well as the international community." 
Sacramento County Climate Action Plan: 2015 GHG emissions inventory and forecasts
Sacramento County has updated its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory from 2005 to 2015 as part of its ongoing effort to prepare a comprehensive Communitywide Climate Action Plan (CAP). The scope of both the 2015 emissions inventory and the forthcoming CAP is communities in the unincorporated County and the County's own internal operations. The inventory, as well as updated emissions forecasts for 2020, 2030, and 2050, will provide a foundation for work on the Communitywide CAP, including the development of GHG reduction targets and measures. This technical memorandum provides the results of the 2015 GHG emissions inventory update and future year forecasts, including sector-level summaries, associated methods, assumptions, emission factors, and data sources. See also the public workshops in the Events section below. ( Sac County)
Climate Signals: Understand how climate change is affecting California's current storms
Photo: Climate Signals
Climate Signals offers a fantastic portal explaining how California's January storms are related to climate change, bringing together news, resources, data, and clear, concise summaries of scientific research in one location. California temperatures recently exceeded the key threshold for maintaining snow pack for the first time. Atmospheric river storms are projected to increase in intensity and duration, with an increase in frequency for the most intense storms, which will in turn increase winter flood risk. By 2100, both intense drought and flooding may increase in frequency by at least 50 percent. A single extreme 1000-year atmospheric river winter storm could cause up to $725 billion in damages to the California economy. ( Climate Signals)
New dam proposed in Placer County to adapt to shrinking snowpack
Photo: Placer County Department of Parks and Recreation
Nevada Irrigation District, which serves Placer and Nevada County, wants to build a new reservoir on the Bear River to capture rainfall to make up for the shrinking Sierra Nevada snowpack. The Centennial Dam project, near Colfax, will increase storage capacity for mid-elevation winter rainfall, as more precipitation is anticipated to fall as rain rather than snow. Concerns include reduced streamflow for endangered salmon and sturgeon in the Yuba River, reduced recreation sites along the river, and submerged Native American cultural sites. ( Link)
State of California will power all Sacramento buildings with renewable energy
Photo: SMUD
The state Department of General Services (DGS) is contracting with SMUD's Greenergy program to power all state buildings in downtown Sacramento, including the Capitol, with renewable energy, making the state of California one of the nation's largest purchasers of renewable energy. Under the 3-year agreement, DGS will purchase 108 gigawatt-hours a year of renewable energy or the equivalent credits resulting from electricity generated by the sun, wind, water, biomass and geothermal sources. California will be second only to Illinois for state green energy purchases and will rank in the top 50 of national green power purchasers. ( SMUD)
Unprecedented Arctic ice melt is affecting extreme weather around the world
The dramatic melting of Arctic ice is already driving extreme weather that affects hundreds of millions of people across North America, Europe and Asia. By disrupting the jet stream, a warming Arctic is now strongly linked to the California drought and freezing "snowmageddon" winters in North America and Europe, and likely also deadly summer heatwaves, Hurricane Sandy, and torrential floods as well. Recent Arctic warming has shocked scientists, with temperatures 33C above average in parts of the Arctic. In November, ice levels hit a record low, and we are now in "uncharted territory". ( Guardian)
GAO: Account for climate change in building and design standards
Photo: GAO
Design standards and building codes developed by trade organizations such as the American Society of Civil Engineers and the U.S. Green Building Council typically rely on historical climate information, which could result in high future costs for repairs, flood insurance, and disaster relief. A new Government Accountability Office report recommends that professional standard-developing organizations use future climate forecasts in setting architectural requirements, building codes, and other certifications. The report examines the institutional and technical challenges that organizations face in incorporating climate change, as well as opportunities for assistance. (GAO)
New Obama administration report warns of changing 'threat environment' for the electricity grid
Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
At a time of heightened focus on U.S. cybersecurity risks, the Energy Department released a comprehensive report on the nation's rapidly changing electrical grid that calls for new action to protect against evolving threats, including internet hacking and climate change. The U.S. has 7,700 power plants (ranging from coal-fired to nuclear), 55,800 substations, some 707,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines, and 6.5 million additional miles of local lines. The report, the second installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review, provides various recommendations for Congress and the federal government to enhance grid security and resilience. ( WP)
Climate change in 2016: the good, the bad, and the ugly
From ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement to incredible declines in the price of renewable energy, 2016 enjoyed some small victories for climate action. On the flip side, 2016 is likely to be the hottest year ever, storms and hurricanes are increasing in strength, and fake news on climate (and other issues) proliferated. ( Guardian)
Tools and Resources
Ahwahnee Water Principles Factsheet - Smart Water, Smart Planning
This new factsheet from the Local Government Commission details how local governments can implement the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) and start working toward sustainable groundwater management in their jurisdictions. The SGMA establishes a statewide goal for achieving long-term groundwater sustainability through local implementation and alignment between water agencies and local governments. Local governments have a responsibility to promote sound water stewardship in land-use planning, and smart land-use planning in water management. ( LGC)
New SEEC Clear Path Calculators to help communities reduce GHG emissions
The Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative is excited to announce new ClearPath calculators, a suite of free online tools that can help local governments quantify GHG emissions and conduct climate action planning. New features include LED street light replacements at a community scale, community-wide electric vehicle adoption, estimates of water and energy savings from water-efficient fixtures, and the expansion in coverage and frequency of transit. ( SEEC ClearPath)
Climate Change and Human Health Literature Portal
This new tool created by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences enables users to identify and search for the most relevant peer-reviewed literature, government reports, policy documents, and other resources on the health implications of climate change from around the globe through an online database. The portal aims to make this literature more accessible to further the study of climate change impacts on human health. ( Link)
Upcoming Opportunities
Comments requested: California's Draft Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Strategy
Developed pursuant to SB 605 and SB 1383, the Draft Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Strategy is a comprehensive outline of how California will reduce short-lived but powerful greenhouse gases (methane, F-gases, and black carbon) through options including regulations, incentives, and other market-supporting activities. Comments are due January 17, 2017. ( ARB)
Job opportunity: Chief Executive Officer, the Valley Clean Energy Alliance
The Valley Clean Energy Alliance, the new community choice energy program for Yolo County and the City of Davis, is hiring for a Chief Executive Officer. The CEO will be responsible for all aspects of launching and operating a highly visible start-up organization and building it into an innovative enterprise that benefits Yolo County residents, businesses and communities. Deadline: Friday, January 20, 5pm. ( Link)
Call for Presentations: APA California Conference 2017 - Capitalizing on Our Diversity
The American Planning Association California Chapter's 2017 conference will be in Sacramento on September 23-26, 2017 and is seeking proposals for presentations and workshops. Proposals should reflect the conference theme of Capitalizing on Our Diversity and include a diversity of opinions and presenters. Sessions must refer to one of the five core conference tracks. Deadline: January 31, 2017, 11.59pm. ( Link)
Call for abstracts: Reclaiming the Sierra 2017 - Headwater Resiliency
The Sierra Fund's biennial conference, Reclaiming the Sierra 2017: Headwater Resiliency (May 8-9), will provide a forum for leaders in science and policy to collaborate on a vision of headwater management to promote the resiliency of natural and human resources in California's altered landscapes. Consideration will be given to abstracts that address strategies for headwater resiliency through cutting edge science, forward-thinking policy and state of the art technology.  Deadline: January 31, 2017. ( Link)
EPA - Environmental Justice Small Grants Program now accepting applications
EPA's Environmental Justice Small Grants program provides financial assistance to community-based organizations and local and tribal governments working on projects to address environmental and public health concerns. Grants will support activities designed to empower and educate affected communities and to identify ways to address environmental and public health concerns at the local level. Approximately 40 one-year projects will be awarded at up to $30,000 each. Deadline: January 31, 2017. ( EPA)
NFWF - Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program
This program seeks to develop nation-wide community stewardship and restoration of coastal, wetland, and riparian ecosystems across the country, preserving them for future generations and enhancing habitat for local wildlife. Projects seek to address water quality issues in priority watersheds, pollution from stormwater run-off, and degraded shorelines caused by development. Deadline: January 31, 2017. ( NFWF)
Travel support awards now available for the National Adaptation Forum
Travel support to attend the National Adaptation Forum (May 9-11) in St. Paul, MN, is available in limited quantities and will be awarded via a competitive review process. Eligible applicants include staff from state, county and municipal government, tribal, non-profit organizations, community leaders, and university students working on or studying climate change adaptation. There are five tiers of Travel Support available depending on your travel needs. ( Link)
Advancing Health Equity Awards 2017: Highlighting Health Equity Practice in California Public Health Departments
This award will recognize and support innovative local public health department work that strives to achieve health equity. It will profile unique examples of work that go beyond the traditional scope of public health department programs and show promise of making significant progress in reducing health inequities. The most compelling example of work will receive an award of $100,000, while three health departments demonstrating promising practices will receive additional awards of $25,000. Public health departments are invited to submit applications by 5pm on February 21, 2017. ( Link)
Upcoming Events
Webinar: Regional Collaboration for Resilience: How to build effective, sustainable cross-jurisdictional climate collaboratives
Thursday, January 12, 9-10am PST
Participants in this Antioch University and U.S. EPA webinar will learn how communities can collaborate regionally to advance climate mitigation and adaptation strategies, strengthen resilience, and avoid maladaptive responses. Participants will learn: specific models for regional collaboration and examples of how collaboratives can advance climate resilience; how to establish a regional network of key local decision makers; and how to identify first steps for regional resilience planning/implementation. ( Register
Webinar: Climate Change, Health, & Environmental Justice
Tuesday, January 17, 9.30am PST
EPA has created customizable communications materials that will help community leaders inform and educate their community about the health impacts of climate change. The materials summarize key points from the U.S. Climate and Health Assessment and are targeted for populations disproportionately affected by climate change, including indigenous people, pregnant women, children, older adults, occupational groups, people with pre-existing health conditions and people with disabilities. This webinar will introduce these materials - which include presentations, factsheets, and graphics - and discuss how they can be used to inform your conversations about climate change health risks and connections to environmental justice concerns. ( Registermaterials)
Webinar: Georgetown Climate Center - Lessons in Regional Resilience
Wednesday, January 18, noon-1pm
The Georgetown Climate Center will share lessons from their forthcoming report, Lessons in Regional Resilience: Case Studies on Regional Climate Collaboratives. Given the importance of state and local leadership, regional collaboratives are becoming essential as communities strategize how to best prepare for climate change impacts. The report analyzes how regional collaboratives are catalyzing climate action by sharing best practices, assessing risks and vulnerabilities, and developing plans and policy recommendations to help coordinate climate policy across jurisdictions. Speakers include Larry Greene, Executive Director of the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, representing the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative, as well as other members and staff of the Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation. ( Register)
Webinar: Sustainability with Trees: Community Canopy Project
Thursday, January 19, 10-11am PST
This webinar will explore how distributing trees through a community canopy project can fit with a city's sustainability efforts, help maximize energy efficiency, and engage homeowners. Staff from the Arbor Day Foundation and the City of Orlando will discuss how a tree distribution program offers the ability to positively interact with the community, educate on strategic tree planting, and promote green infrastructure. ( Register)
What Climate Change Means for the Sierra Nevada - and California
Tuesday, January 24, 2-3:30pm
Secretary of State Building Auditorium, 1500 11th St, Sacramento
Californians have witnessed first-hand the consequences of hotter-than-normal temperatures and a smaller-than-normal Sierra Nevada snowpack. UCLA professor Alex Hall and his research team have set out to understand future impacts of climate change on the mountain landscapes we love and the snowpack upon which California depends for its water resources. Using innovative techniques to bring global climate model projections to very high spatial resolution, the UCLA team has produced first-of-their-kind future climate projections that capture the intricate physical processes affecting climate in the Sierra. In this talk, Dr. Hall will present key findings and discuss what they mean for decision-makers, resource managers, and anyone interested in the fate of California's iconic mountain range and its unique ecosystems. ( RSVP)
California Climate Change Summit: Science to Safeguard California
January 25-26, 2017, Sheraton Grand Hotel, Sacramento
The California Climate Change Symposium 2017 is the premier forum for the sharing of cutting-edge research addressing the impacts of climate change on the state. This research informs the state's strategies and policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to develop programs to safeguard California from a changing climate. The 2017 symposium will feature preliminary reports from California's Fourth Climate Change Assessment, a status report on the state's Climate Change Research Plan, as well as presentations on emerging research. ( Register)
Greenprint Summit: Restoring Nature to Our Neighborhoods
Thursday, January 26, 2017, 9am-3.30pm
Guild Community Theater, 2828 35th Street, Sacramento
The Sacramento Tree Foundation's sixth annual summit will feature inspiring speakers showcasing research and projects that prove the many benefits of trees, as well as case studies demonstrating successful community-led urban greening projects. Confirmed speakers include Mayor Elect Darrell Steinberg and US Forest Service forester Dr. Greg McPherson. ( Register)
Sacramento County Communitywide Climate Action Plan - Public Workshop
Monday, February 6, 6-8pm, Arden-Dimick Library, 891 Watt Ave, Sacramento
Thursday, February 9, 6-8pm, Jean Harvie Community Center, 14273 River Rd, Walnut Grove
The second round of public workshops for Sacramento County's Communitywide Climate Action Plan will focus around climate vulnerability, expected climate impacts for Sacramento County, and actions and strategies to address these impacts. Participants will have opportunity to share ideas and provide feedback. Both workshops will be the same. ( 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.