Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
January 28, 2020
A biweekly newsletter of the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative
The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District (SMAQMD) and the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative (CRC) are conducting a regional urban heat island study, funded by a Caltrans SB1 Adaptation Planning Grant, to research strategies and provide recommendations to reduce the Capital Region’s urban heat island (UHI) effect.

Join our webinar series to learn about the results of this study, the most effective ways to reduce the urban heat island effect in Sacramento, the best areas for implementation, and how these cooling strategies can benefit transportation systems as well as health, air quality, energy usage, and more!
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 Climate change: Last decade confirmed as warmest on record
The 10 years to the end of 2019 have been confirmed as the warmest decade on record by three global agencies. According to NASA, NOAA, and the UK Met Office, last year was the second warmest in a record dating back to 1850. The past five years were the hottest in the 170-year series, with the average of each one more than 1C warmer than pre-industrial temperatures. Each decade has been warmer than the last. The World Meteorological Organization concludes that 2019 was 1.1C warmer than the pre-industrial period . ( BBC ) Source: Met Office
'Heat islands': racist housing policies in US linked to deadly heatwave exposure
Deadly urban heatwaves disproportionately affect underserved neighborhoods because of the legacy of racist housing policies which have denied African Americans home ownership and basic public services, a landmark new study has found. Redlined urban neighborhoods denied municipal services and support for home ownership during the mid-20th century are now the hottest areas in 94% of the 108 cities analysed by researchers at Portland State University and the Science Museum of Virginia. The cooler neighborhoods “are a result of decades of intentional investment in parks, green spaces, trees, transportation and housing policies that provided ‘cooling services’, which also coincide with being wealthier and whiter across the country … neighborhoods are not made equal. “We are now seeing how those policies are literally killing those most vulnerable to acute heat.” ( Guardian ) Photo: David 'Dee' Delgado/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Climate crisis likely to increase violent deaths of young people 
Rising temperatures caused by global heating are likely to increase deaths from road crashes, violence, suicides and drowning, according to new research, and will affect young people most. Deaths from injuries have long been known to be seasonal, and the new analysis uses data on nearly 6 million deaths in the US to calculate the impacts of a 2C rise in temperature. People tend to go outside more and drink more alcohol on hotter days, while higher temperatures are known to increase rates of violence and suicide. Injury deaths were expected to increase in all nations as temperatures rose, although local factors would influence the extent of the increase – for example, the standard of road safety or level of gun control. Men are already much more likely than women to die from injuries and the researchers found that 84% of the additional deaths were among men. Road crashes accounted for 42% of the extra deaths, suicide 30%, and death from violence 14%. ( Guardian )
New Jersey becomes first state to require climate change adaptation for new buildings
New Jersey will become the first state to require that builders take into account the impact of climate change, including rising sea levels, in order to win government approval for projects. New Jersey’s initiative is believed to be the broadest, and most specific, attempt to leverage land-use rules to control where and what developers can build, and to limit the volume of emissions that are spewed into the air. ( NYT ) Photo: Wayne Parry/Associated Press
California lays out ambitious climate change budget plan 
The administration is proposing a $12.5 billion climate budget, which will be rolled out over five years. It includes a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, a new climate resilience bond the governor hopes to put in front of voters this fall, and a low-interest loan fund. The climate resilience bond would provide $4.75 billion for investments that reduce risks from water, fire, extreme heat and sea level rise. ( Capital Public Radio ) Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP Photo
Neighborhoods with more people of color pay higher energy bills
It is well-established that the lower a family’s income, the more that family will pay for lighting and heating the house, running appliances, and keeping the wi-fi on. Such outcomes would suggest that this is a class problem or a function of rational markets. According to a new study, all low-income households are not equally yoked: Residents of poorer, predominately white neighborhoods are less energy-cost burdened than people in predominately minority neighborhoods of similar economic status. Race matters. Researchers found energy cost burden disparities between white and minority neighborhoods not only for the lowest-income families, but also for households whose incomes fall within 51 to 80 percent of area median income (AMI) and 81 to 120 percent of AMI. In New York City and D.C., researchers found that residents of minority neighborhoods were more cost-burdened even at middle-class incomes, or 121-to-150 percent of AMI. ( CityLab ) Photo: Mark Lennihan/AP
What will another decade of climate crisis bring?
2019 has been called the year we woke up to climate change. Australia’s wildfires are yet more evidence that it’s time we started acting like it. Every decade is consequential in its own way, but the twenty-twenties will be consequential in a more or less permanent way. ( New Yorker )
'This is not how sequoias die. It’s supposed to stand for another 500 years'
Giant sequoias were thought to be immune to insects, drought and wildfires. Then the unthinkable happened: trees started to die – and scientists began the search for answers “This is a tree that has lived through 2,000 years of fires, other droughts, wet years, dry years, hot years, cold years. It’s been here longer than Europeans have been in this country and it’s dead. And it shouldn’t be dead. This is not how giant sequoias die.” ( Guardian ) Photo:Mette Lampcov/The Guardian
Deforestation is leading to more infectious diseases in humans
Over the past two decades, a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that deforestation, by triggering a complex cascade of events, creates the conditions for a range of deadly pathogens—such as Nipah and Lassa viruses, and the parasites that cause malaria and Lyme disease—to spread to people. As widespread burning continues today in tropical forests in the Amazon, and some parts of Africa and Southeast Asia, experts have expressed concern about the health of people living at the frontiers of deforestation. They’re also afraid that the next serious pandemic could emerge from our world’s forests. ( NatGeo )
Atmospheric rivers fuel most flood damage in the US. Climate change will make them worse.
A study finds that storms associated with atmospheric rivers caused more than 99 percent of all flood damage in parts of coastal Oregon and California. The 10 most extreme atmospheric rivers caused nearly half of all the flood damage in the West between 1978 and 2017, about $23 billion, according to researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. Climate change along with increasing population and development in the West "are expected to worsen the risk of AR-driven flood damage in future decades," the study finds. The study includes suggestions to increase community resilience, such as discouraging new development in areas at risk from flooding, restoring natural floodplains, and developing green infrastructure, along with hardening existing flood walls, dams and spillways. ( Inside Climate News ) Photo: NASA Worldview
Climate crisis fills top five places of World Economic Forum’s risks report
The World Economic Forum’s annual risks report found that, for the first time in its 15-year history, the environment filled the top five places in the list of concerns likely to have a major impact over the next decade. The top five risks in terms of likelihood in the next 10 years were: extreme weather events with major damage to property, infrastructure and loss of human life; failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation by governments and businesses; human-made environmental damage and disasters, including environmental crime, such as oil spills and radioactive contamination; major biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse with irreversible consequences, resulting in severely depleted resources for humankind as well as industries; and major natural disasters. ( Guardian ) Photo: Sam Mooy/Getty
Cities should invest now to reduce climate change depreciation
Someday soon, analysts will determine that a city or county, or maybe a school district or utility, is so vulnerable to sea level rise, flooding, drought or wildfire that it is an investment risk. As ratings firms begin to focus on climate change, and investors increasingly talk about the issue, those involved in the market say now is the time for communities to make serious investments in climate resilience — or risk being punished by the financial sector in the future. ( Governing )
Tools & Resources
Climate risk and response: Physical hazards and socioeconomic impacts
As the climate crisis intensifies and as the wide-ranging economic impacts are felt up and down supply chains across continents, business leaders and governments cannot ignore the mounting economic risks, a report from McKinsey said. The study focused on the physical effects of climate change, including on individuals and communities, as well as infrastructure and natural capital, and found that the knock-on effects from a changing planet are accelerating. The report also emphasized extreme heat, which can dismantle regional food systems and threaten glaciers and other elements of the natural environment. ( McKinsey )
Mitigation Matters: Policy Solutions to Reduce Local Flood Risk
Since 2000, floods have cost the US more than $845 billion in damage to homes, businesses, and critical infrastructure. The expense of adapting to more frequent and severe storms is projected to rise over the next several decades, placing a premium on the need to take action now to reduce the impacts of future floods. “Mitigation Matters,” new research from The Pew Charitable Trusts, identifies 13 states or cities that have adopted policies resulting in effective flood mitigation. The policies are organized into categories: 1) using existing funds for mitigation by redirecting revenue and spending, 2) creating revenue sources, and 3) establishing smarter regulations. ( Pew )
SACOG: Transit-Oriented Development Toolkit
The Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Toolkit provides a framework for jurisdictions and communities to build upon and incorporate into their planning process while encouraging the development of streetcar lines, other transit, and TOD. Using real examples of actions from the cities of Sacramento and West Sacramento to change their regulatory environments, the toolkit highlights specific development standards, design guidelines, processes, and incentives along transit corridors for other communities to use. ( SACOG )
Upcoming Opportunities
Call for Abstracts: Climate Adaptation Research Symposium
UCLA is releasing a call for abstracts for its Climate Adaptation Research Symposium on May 8, 2020. This event will feature the latest studies that measure the scale and scope of climate impacts, and strategies to address those impacts through adaptive markets, public policies, and planning. UCLA is seeking abstracts from climate science, economics, geography, law, public health, sociology, urban planning, and related disciplines. Deadline: January 31, 2020. ( UCLA )
FEMA 2019 Flood Mitigation Assistance and Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grants
The  Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) program has $70 million for two types of community flood mitigation activities: 1) Advance Assistance for flood mitigation design and development of community flood mitigation projects that will subsequently reduce flood claims; and 2) Mitigation projects that address community flood risk for the purpose of reducing flood claim payments. The Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) program provides Federal funds to 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. Deadline: January 31, 2020. ( FEMA)
Northern California Environmental Grassroots Fund
This fund supports small grassroots groups throughout greater northern California that are tackling tough environmental problems including toxic pollution, urban sprawl, sustainable agriculture, climate change, and the environmental degradation of our rivers and wild places as well as of our communities and our health. The Fund’s mission is to bridge a significant gap between grassroots environmental groups and traditional philanthropy by awarding small grants ($5,000 or less) to small organizations that are underserved by most foundations’ funding strategies. Deadlines are every 3 months; the next is 5pm, February 1. ( Link )
WaterSMART Drought Response Program: Drought Contingency Planning Grants
The Bureau of Reclamation invites states, tribes, irrigation districts, water districts, and other organizations with water or power delivery authority to leverage their money and resources by cost-sharing drought contingency planning with Reclamation to build resilience to drought in advance of a crisis. Deadline: February 5, 2020, 4pm MST. (
Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreement Program
This grant provides funding to support community-based organizations to collaborate and partner with local stakeholder groups (e.g., local businesses and industry, local government, medical service providers, and academia) as they develop and implement community-driven solutions that address environmental and/or public health issues for underserved communities. Ten awards will be made (one per US EPA region) in amounts of up to $120,000 per award for a two-year project period. Deadline: February 7, 9pm PT. ( )
California Climate Resilience Challenge
The California Resilience Challenge is a $2 million statewide competition to support innovative projects that address climate change-related threats. Recipients will receive grant awards of up to $200,000 for adaptation planning projects. Deadline: February 7, 2020. ( CRC)
Collaborate with the Thriving Earth Exchange to Implement Community Science Projects in Under-Served Communities
The Strategic Growth Council is collaborating with Thriving Earth Exchange on a new initiative to launch a cohort of community science projects across California, with a focus on supporting vulnerable, low-income, and/or under-served communities. Thriving Earth Exchange helps scientists and communities around the world form collaborative, high-impact, community-driven partnerships to address priorities relating to natural resources, natural hazards, climate change, sustainability and health. Local, regional, and tribal governments and non-profits are eligible to apply to design and launch a project that unites community and science with the goal of advancing community priorities. Deadline: February 10, 2020. ( Link )
Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program (AHSC)
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 preservation projects to support infill and compact development that reduce GHG emissions. Deadline: February 11, 2020. ( SGC )
Strategic Growth Council: Climate Change Research Program Round 3
The Climate Change Research Program is a statewide research initiative that funds outcome-based research advancing the State’s climate goals, focused on climate mitigation, adaptation, and resilience. Projects will demonstrate how State investments can advance climate change goals while building innovative, outcome-driven partnerships between the State, the research community, and other research partners. Deadline: February 12, 2020. ( SGC)
Civic Spark Partner Recruitment – Priority Partner Applications Now Open
CivicSpark is a Governor’s Initiative AmeriCorps program dedicated to building capacity for local public agencies to address emerging environmental and social equity resilience challenges. Sign up for a webinar to learn about CivicSpark’s 5-year track record of helping communities tackle their biggest challenges while fostering the next generation of leaders and also about what it takes to become a partner. The first priority deadline is February 14. ( CivicSpark )
Sacramento County: Community Health Survey
As part of its Public Health Accreditation preparation, Sacramento County Public Health is developing a Community Health Assessment (CHA) and Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). In simple terms, the CHA describes the state of health in Sacramento County and the CHIP outlines a plan for addressing it. Sacramento County Public Health is seeking resident input into the CHIP via a survey as well as assistance sharing it via stakeholders and community groups. Deadline: February 14. ( Survey )
CalHome Program
CalHome provides grants to public agencies and nonprofit developers to enable low- and very low-income households to become or remain homeowners. Deadline: February 17, 2020. ( HCD )
Transformative Climate Communities: Implementation & Planning Grant Program
The Strategic Growth Council is excited to release the Notice of Funding Availability for Round 3 of the Transformative Climate Communities Program (TCC). Three planning grants for $600,000 each will be available. Deadline: February 28, 2020. ( SGC)
Bureau of Reclamation WaterSMART Grants: Small Scale Water Efficiency Projects
This grant provides assistance to states, tribes, irrigation districts, water districts, and other entities with water or power delivery authority to undertake small-scale water efficiency projects that have been prioritized through planning efforts. These projects conserve and use water more efficiently; mitigate conflict risk in areas at a high risk of future water conflict; and accomplish other benefits that contribute to water supply reliability. Deadline: March 4, 3pm PT. ( )
Department of the Interior: Tribal adaptation & ocean & coastal management & planning
This opportunity will provide funding for projects that support tribal resilience and ocean and coastal management planning as tribes incorporate science (including Traditional Knowledge) and technical information to prepare for the impacts of extreme events. Categories include adaptation planning, capacity building, ocean & coastal management planning, and relocation, managed retreat, or protect-in-place planning. Deadline: March 20, 2020. ( )
NOAA Environmental Literacy Grants
NOAA’s Office of Education has announced a competitive funding opportunity for projects aimed at strengthening environmental literacy of K-12 students and the public more broadly. NOAA will award approximately $3 million in grants to projects that seek to increase community knowledge about how to build resiliency in the face of extreme weather caused by climate change and teach the community how to achieve that resilience. Deadline: March 26. (
Federal government releases $7 billion to build climate resilience
The money — $7.65 billion in total — aims to make disaster-damaged communities more resilient by paying for reconstruction projects that will withstand increasingly severe storms, hurricanes and other effects of climate change. The funding differs from most federal disaster aid because instead of simply repairing or rebuilding damaged buildings and facilities, communities must spend the recovery money on mitigation projects that "increase resilience to disasters.” California will receive $88 million and has until April 6, 2020, to submit projects. ( Federal Register)
CalEPA Environmental Justice Small Grants
This program offers funding to assist non-profit community organizations and federally recognized Tribal governments address environmental justice issues in areas disproportionately affected by environmental pollution and hazards. CalEPA will prioritize projects that increase participation in environmental decision-making, promote community resilience, and support local capacity to respond to environmental and health challenges. Deadline: April 17, 2020. ( CalEPA )
Upcoming Events
Cooling the Capital Region: From Models to Implementation
Thursday, February 13, 2020, 1-2pm
The Sacramento Air District and the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative (CRC) are conducting a study, funded by a Caltrans SB1 Adaptation Planning Grant, to research strategies and provide recommendations to reduce the regional urban heat island effect. Join our webinar series to learn about the results of the study, the most effective ways to reduce the urban heat island effect in Sacramento, the best areas for implementation, and how these cooling strategies can benefit transportation systems as well as health, air quality, energy usage, and more. The first webinar will introduce the unique characteristics of the Capital Region’s urban heat island effect and discuss the heat island’s implications for climate resilience, our transportation system, air quality, energy savings, and more. ( Register )
Webinar series: Tribal Climate & Health Adaptation Regional Cohort Training Series
3rd Tuesday of the month, January-August
A comprehensive tribal climate change adaptation plan can help a Native American tribal community better understand, prepare for, and protect against climate health impacts. This training will provide steps, tools, templates, case studies, and other resources that seek to streamline the adaptation planning process and make it easier for tribal health and environmental professionals to understand and address human health exposures and impacts within tribal communities. ( Register )
Electric Transportation 2030: Policy, Power & Plugs
March 4, 2020, 10am-4.30pm
Kimpton Sawyer Hotel, 500 J Street. Sacramento 
Veloz invites you to join key corporate, nonprofit and government representatives at a forum to discuss what's next for electric cars in California. ( Register )
American Climate Leadership Summit 2020
March 25-26, Washington D.C.
The realities of climate change are upon us and the 2020 elections are existentially critical. How can we win in 2020 and ensure our new leaders will pass and implement policies that ensure a healthy, just, and prosperous future? The 9th annual American Climate Leadership Summit “Ambition • Restoration • Justice” is designed to build political will for climate solutions and a broader, more inclusive movement. Learn strategies and ideas to help transform climate action into a true national priority. ( Register )
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 .