Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
July 13, 2017
A biweekly newsletter of the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative

Thank you to everyone who contributed to ARCCA's comment letter on the draft Safeguarding California Plan: 2017 Update. We submitted  25 pages of comments and recommendations to support regional and cross-sector collaboration, the greater integration of equity, and a holistic approach to forest and water resilience, among other recommendations, in the State of California's guiding document on climate adaptation. View the letter here. 
World has three years to avert dangerous climate change
Photo: Reuben Wu
Avoiding dangerous levels of climate change is still just about possible if we can permanently lower GHG levels in the next three years - by 2020 - warns a group of climate experts, including former UN climate chief Christina Figueres. They're launching Mission 2020, a collaborative campaign to raise ambition and action to bend the GHG emissions curve downwards by 2020. They also developed six milestones for 2020 that could be adopted at the G20 meeting, including a 30% renewable energy target for electricity, climate action plans from leading cities and states, a 15% EV target in new vehicle sales, and reforms to land use, agriculture, heavy industry, and the finance sector. ( Nature)
County-level analysis of climate impacts reveals worsening inequalities for US
Photo: Tony Gutierrez / AP
Climate change is likely to worsen existing inequalities in the U.S., with the poorest areas of the country poised to lose as much as 20 percent of their income by the end of the century if GHGs are not significantly reduced. "If we continue on the current path, our analysis indicates it may result in the largest transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich in the country's history," said Soloman Hsiang of the University of California, Berkeley. States in the South and lower Midwest will be the most severely affected. Economists and climate scientists at the Climate Impact Lab computed the costs and benefits of how   agriculture, crime, health, energy demand, labor and coastal communities will be affected by climate change. Beyond its initial findings, the paper represents a major breakthrough for the field of climate economics, working from the bottom up, building its model from dozens of microeconomic studies. The resulting county-level analysis reveals patterns of redistribution that can't be captured by regional or global averages. Overall, each 1 degree C of temperature rise is forecast to reduce US GDP by 1.2 percent. The framework is designed to continually integrate new findings and new climate model predictions, and is also designed to be actionable science to help local governments plan. ( Atlantic)
As the rich move away from disaster zones, the poor are left behind
Photo: REUTERS/Randall Hill
A study of how disasters affect people's decisions to move in or out of particular areas found that people tend to relocate from areas hit by the largest disasters. Coupled with the increased risk of stronger natural disasters due to climate change, these trends may worsen inequality in the US, as the rich move away from disaster-prone areas, while the poor are left behind. Based on county-level data from 1920 to 2010, areas affected by super-severe disasters experienced a 1 percentage point increase in poverty rates. The research suggests that the poor will likely face growing exposure to natural disasters, and that areas that do not adapt to natural disaster risk will become poorer over time, as well-to-do residents move away. ( Grist)
Climate change could create up to 2 billion refugees
Photo_ Probal Rashid via Getty Images
By the year 2100, rising sea levels could force up to 2 billion people inland, creating a refugee crisis among one-fifth of the world's population. Worse yet, there won't be many places for those migrants to go, with obstacles such as drought, desertification, and other climate impacts that decrease the habitability of inland regions. Too much of the conversation is focused on measures that allow us to co-exist with higher sea levels, potentially leaving countries woefully unprepared for a mass migration that could dwarf the current refugee crisis in Europe. The US is particularly at risk. Millions of mainland Americans could be forced to flee inland, and Texas alone could have as many as 2.5 million internal migrants. ( Link)
Climate change may force millions of Americans to move inland
Photo: Carlos Barria/Reuters
As coastal areas are deluged over this century, millions of coastal Americans could be forced to flee inland, where they may overwhelm already crowded cities. People typically think of sea-level rise as a coastal issue, but the displacement of millions would also affect the places to which they relocate. Some of the anticipated destinations, such as Las Vegas and Riverside, already experience water supply or growth management challenges. A 6-foot rise in sea levels by 2100 would put 13 million people in over 300 coastal counties at risk, but a worst-case scenario of an 8-12 ft. increase would submerge Boston, New York, and Seattle. ( Link)
The hidden inequality of mosquito bites
Photo: John Tann/Flickr
Living in a low-income neighborhood means dealing with all manner of injustices that richer people don't have to confront, including more serious mosquito infestations. Surveying Asian tiger mosquito populations in Baltimore, researchers found that poorer neighborhoods had more mosquito larvae and pupae, partly due to the higher percentage of vacant buildings (26 percent in low-income areas compared to 1 percent in high-income neighborhoods), which contain more nooks and crannies for water to accumulate and for mosquitoes to lay their eggs. Similarly, there was more accumulated trash in poor neighborhoods. ( Washington Post)
Mapped: How climate change affects extreme weather around the world
The emerging climate science field of extreme event attribution has provided mounting evidence that climate change is raising the risk of some types of extreme weather, such as floods, heatwaves, droughts and storms. Carbon Brief's analysis suggests 63% of all extreme weather events studied to date were made more likely or more severe by human-caused climate change. Heatwaves account for nearly half of such events (46%), droughts make up 21% and heavy rainfall or floods account for 14%. To create a real-time tracker for extreme event attribution, Carbon Brief has mapped every extreme event attribution study published in a peer-reviewed journal, and will update the map periodically with new studies. ( Link)
How climate change could threaten water supply for millions of Californians
Rising sea levels caused by climate change will bring more salt water into the Delta, the hub of California's water-delivery network. As a result, millions of gallons of fresh water will have to be flushed through the Delta, and out into the ocean, to keep salinity from inundating the massive pumping stations near Tracy. That will leave less water available for San Joaquin Valley farmers and the 19 million Southern Californians and Bay Area residents who depend on Delta water - eventually as much as 475,000 acre-feet of water each year. A 2010 UC Davis study said rising seas, coupled with the inundation of some islands in the western Delta, will translate into higher costs for purifying water for human use, perhaps as high as $1 billion per year. ( Sac Bee)
Highlighting Local Solutions
What if we could design cities to minimize the urban heat island effect?
Until now, researchers haven't rigorously quantified the relationships between land cover and temperature. Where and how much green space do you need to sprinkle in amongst the buildings and parking lots to cool cities? The EcoCity model aims to answer those questions by integrating high-resolution satellite imagery, temperature and other meteorological data, and information about topography, key infrastructure, demographics, and economics. The model can help city authorities predict which areas of a city are most vulnerable to heat waves, and simulate the future expansion of cities and the severity of urban heat island effects under different scenarios. The analysis also can pinpoint where green space would be most effective at improving a city's capacity for temperature regulation. ( Link)
Cool pavements help Los Angeles fight urban heat island
On sweltering summer days, dark asphalt soaks up the sun and can reach temperatures of 130-140 F, heating up the city even further. That's why Los Angeles is testing lighter-colored cool pavements that will reflect - instead of absorb - heat from the sun, making it about 10 degrees cooler than conventional asphalt. A mix of measures that includes reflective roofs, cool pavements, and more tree canopy could help LA reduce its urban heat island by 3 degrees over the next 20 years. Cool pavements provide greater physical comfort, reduce energy use, and mitigate the health risks associated with extreme heat. ( NYTimes)
BMW tests electric cars as potential grid stabilizers
In an important real-world test of whether electric vehicles could play a bigger role in backing up the green power grid of the future, a group of San Francisco-area drivers showed that they were willing and even eager to adjust their charging times for the right financial incentives. Over an 11-month period, BMW asked owners of its EVs if they would be willing to delay recharging them by an hour on the company's cue. The trial led BMW and PG&E to suggest that if EVs become as popular as expected, managing charging demand could become a powerful tool for supporting grid flexibility. EVs could be deployed to buffer uneven power generation of wind and solar, particularly to relieve demand on the grid during peak load hours. ( Link)
Tools and Reports
Investing in Our Future: Public Safety and Preparedness
Our region has already been experiencing threats to public safety due to the impacts of climate change - especially given this year's unusually wet winter and the incident at Oroville Dam.  This new factsheet from the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative highlights the critical importance of emergency and disaster preparedness,  with examples of regional solutions to help us prepare for climate impacts and preserve public safety. We encourage you to review and distribute this resource widely throughout the region. (Link)
Economic Decision Guide for Resilience Planning
When communities decide to become more resilient, they need an approach that helps identify and prioritize options consistent with their overall goals. The National Institute of Standards and Technology has developed a Community Resilience Economic Decision Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems (EDG) to help communities evaluate the cost and benefits of various resilience options. It provides a standard methodology for evaluating investment decisions and assessing alternatives for increasing community resilience through cost-effective investments in the built environment. The EDG is designed for use with the companion Community Resilience Planning Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems. ( NIST)
Upcoming Opportunities
The 2017 Mayors Challenge: An Innovation Platform for America's Mayors
Part of Bloomberg's American Cities Initiative, this nationwide competition will help hundreds of cities develop, test, and implement bold solutions to emerging challenges. Be among the first 300 cities to RSVP by August 18 and guarantee your city its own in-person Idea Accelerator workshop, designed to help city leaders strengthen idea development by drawing upon the expertise of the community. Apply by October 20, and as many as 35 "Champion Cities" will then win up to $100,000 each to test and refine their ideas. Five Mayors Challenge Winners will be selected based on the idea's vision for tackling an urgent challenge, potential for impact and successful implementation, and potential to spread to other cities. One city will win the $5 million grand prize; four others will receive $1 million implementation awards. (  Learn more and apply)
CivicSpark now recruiting project partners for 2017-2018 program year
Over the past two years, the Local Government Commission's Governor's Initiative AmeriCorps CivicSpark program has provided 130,000+ hours of support to over 100 public agencies, while implementing 80 projects in climate change and water policy. In Sacramento, CivicSpark fellows have been working to increase food waste recycling and reduce its associated GHG emissions and support low-income home weatherization, among other activities. ( Link)
North American Wetlands Conservation Act Grant Program
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grants increase bird populations and wetland habitat, while supporting local economies and traditions such as hunting, fishing, birdwatching, family farming, and cattle ranching. Wetlands protected by NAWCA provide valuable benefits such as flood control, reducing coastal erosion, improving water and air quality, and recharging ground water. Deadline: July 14. ( Link)
PeopleForBikes Community Grant Program
The PeopleForBikes grant program supports bicycle infrastructure projects, some facilities, and targeted advocacy initiatives that make it easier and safer for people of all ages and abilities to ride. Letters of Interest due July 21, 2017. ( Link)
Partners for Places Matching Grant Program
This matching grant program creates opportunities to improve communities by building partnerships between local government sustainability offices and place-based foundations. Through these projects, Partners for Places fosters long-term relationships that make our urban areas more prosperous, livable, and vibrant. 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. In addition to the existing sustainability priority areas, there is dedicated funding for green stormwater infrastructure projects that advance water-related sustainability goals. Deadline: July 31. ( Link)
Cap and trade funding for agricultural land preservation
Applications are now open for the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation (SALC) Program to protect agricultural land and reduce GHG emissions. Last year, the SALC awarded over $37 million to 20 projects, protecting over 19,000 acres. Interested organizations are encouraged to submit a pre-proposal by June 1 to receive technical assistance. Interested landowners should contact a land trust in their area to begin the application process. Deadline: August 1. ( Link)
Upcoming Events
Senate Bill 1 Planning Grants Workshops
The Department of Transportation Division of Transportation Planning is on a fast track to develop a grant guide and launch the new Senate Bill 1, The Road Repair & Accountability Act of 2017, planning grant funds. SB 1 will provide $20 million for climate adaptation projects. Here is the schedule of workshops for SB 1, and   more information about the bill.
Climate Action Team Public Health Workgroup: Active Transportation and Health Equity
Monday, July 18, 1-3.30pm
CalEPA, Sierra Hearing Room, 2nd Floor. 1001 I Street, Sacramento
Topics include the California State Bike and Pedestrian Plan; Integrated Transportation and Health Impacts Model (ITHIM); SB 375 target setting and implications for active transportation; SB 1 transportation funding and active transportation; and connected and autonomous vehicles and implications for active transportation, health, and safety. ( Agenda; register for webcast)
Webinar series: Communicating Climate Change as a Public Health Issue
July 19-August 9, 10-11.30am PDT
The San Luis Obispo Public Health Department is hosting a 4-part webinar series on Communicating Climate Change as a Public Health Issue, featuring international experts and innovative on-the-ground leaders discussing a range of issues critical to public health departments as they approach the impacts of climate change with limited funding and support. Each webinar will feature real-life examples and practical recommendations for increasing the impact of climate and health communications. ( Link)
Disability and Climate Change: Preparing for the Future
Thursday, July 20, 5:30-8pm
Ed Roberts Campus, 3075 Adeline Street, Berkeley
The World Institute on Disability is hosting a workshop looking at the connection between climate change and disability. Topics will include: the basics of climate change; what climate change means for the disabled community; opportunities for change, as individuals and as a movement; and more. Connect with other attendees over snacks from 5 to 5.30pm. ( Register)
2017 Sierra Water Workgroup Summit: Legal and Legislative Strategies to Protecting Our Headwaters
July 24-25, Kings Beach, CA
Across California, diverse groups have been coming together to create model Integrated Regional Water Management Plans (IRWMPs) to ensure reliable water supply, protect water quality, and restore watersheds. The summit will focus on how headwaters issues can be addressed with legislative and policy strategies; breakouts will consider tribal and under-served communities, climate change, advocacy, and other areas. ( Register)
Sacramento: City of Trees? Addressing the Inequitable Distribution of our Region's Urban Forest
Friday, July 28, 8.30-10.30am
West Sacramento Community Center, 1075 West Capitol Avenue, West Sacramento
Using Google Maps to evaluate tree cover in 17 cities around the globe, MIT found that Sacramento was number one in the US and ranked third overall. While exciting news, the Sacramento Region suffers from stunning inequity when comparing the canopy cover of different neighborhoods, preventing many from reaping the health and other benefits of trees. Speakers from the Sacramento Tree Foundation, UC Davis, and Pacific Housing will explore a brief history of Sacramento, highlighting the lack of investment in certain communities. Learn how urban greening dollars are working to build community engagement while expediting tree planting in under-canopied neighborhoods. Discuss how we can plan for the future, making sure that trees and green spaces are at the forefront during the design of new communities. ( Link)
California Climate Action Planning Conference
August 24-25, 2017
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
California has emerged as a national and international leader in addressing the climate crisis. To keep our leadership and momentum, Cal Poly's City & Regional Planning Department - in partnership with the Governor's Office of Planning and Research - are proud to host the third California Climate Action Planning Conference. Learn and network with over 150 professionals in climate action, sustainability, and resilience. Planned program includes: the new Scoping Plan, pathways to deep de-carbonization, successful financing and implementation, community vulnerability assessment, state planning guidance, and climate justice. ( Register; Link)
CRC and EJCW Co-Hosted Meeting: 
Traditional Ecological Knowledges and Climate Adaptation Workshop

September 7, 2017, 1-4pm
West Sacramento Community Center
CRC's next quarterly meeting on  September 7th is a special co-hosted meeting with the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water! The theme of this meeting will focus on Traditional Ecological Knowledges and climate adaptation. Save the date and be on the lookout for registration coming soon!
Save the date: 2018 New Partners for Smart Growth
February 1-3, 2018, San Francisco, CA
Mark your calendars for the 17th annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in San Francisco, California. Get involved early in the nation's largest smart growth and sustainability event by becoming a sponsor or a promotional partner. Don't forget to check out presentations and materials from this year's fantastic conference in St. Louis too. ( NPSG)
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.