Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
July 28, 2016
A biweekly newsletter of the Climate Readiness Collaborative

Though it may not attract as much attention as the annual United Nations climate talks, the meeting of nations in Vienna last week to amend the Montreal Protocol to reduce hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) is a critical part of meeting Paris goals. Commonly used in air-conditioning and refrigeration, HFCs are thousands of times more powerful than carbon dioxide in its global warming ability but have a short lifespan in the atmosphere. Thus, an urgent reduction in HFCs could help avoid 0.5C of warming by 2100, providing valuable time to transition energy systems and prepare for the impacts of climate change. While negotiating parties disagreed on a start date, the hope is to reach an agreement in October. California, meanwhile, has its own separate strategy to reduce short-lived climate pollutants, including not just HFCs but also methane and black carbon, but would prefer to see a global effort. 

Also, don't forget to register for the upcoming California Adaptation Forum, to be held September 7th - 8th in Long Beach, CA. Register by Friday, August 12th to save $50 on your registration!

This year's Forum will feature a dynamic mix of plenary speakers, including:
  • Robin Guenther, Principal of Perkins + Will and Senior Advisor to Health Care Without Harm
  • Diane Takvorian, Executive Director of the Environmental Health Coalition
  • Supervisor Leticia Perez from Kern County
  • and so many more!
It will also feature almost 40 lightning discussions, traditional panel presentations and hands-on implementation workshops! You can review the full program here. Also, read on to learn more about scholarships that are available for forum participants.
White House launches initiative to bring solar to low- and mid-income communities
The Obama Administration is launching the Clean Energy Savings for All Initiative, a cross-government partnership that will increase access to solar energy and energy efficiency for all Americans, especially low- and mid-income communities. The initiative will scale up innovative financing mechanisms, provide awards of up to $100,000 for communities, scale up inclusive workforce training, and more. The White House estimated the effort would bring solar power to about 250,000 middle-class and low-income homes by 2020. Learn more here.
Federal Housing Authority unlocks PACE financing for homeowners
As part of the above initiative, the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and the Department of Veteran Affairs announced that they will now insure mortgages on properties that include Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) assessments. The agencies issued clear guidance for how single-family homes with PACE assessments can be purchased and refinanced with FHA- and VA-insured mortgage. PACE allows homeowners to finance solar and energy efficiency home improvements at no up-front cost, paying back the loan over time through property taxes. This new guidance gives clarity to state and local governments enacting or adopting PACE legislation, for the first time recognizing PACE as any other property tax assessment. ( Link)
Sacramento minority communities face a legacy of environmental injustice
Photo: Evan Duran
Sacramento's communities are not created by chance. In the 20th century, discriminatory land-use policies like racial covenants in housing deeds and "redlining," the denial of mortgages based on race and ethnicity, pushed minorities to (then) outer neighborhoods like Oak Park, Del Paso Heights, and South Sacramento. These neighborhoods were overlooked from services such as streetlights and sidewalks, ignored by supermarkets, and excluded from decision making. Now these environmental justice communities face greater environmental hazards and pollution, exacerbated by social and economic vulnerabilities. ( Link)   
Fight fire with fire, says forestry experts
Photo: David McNew/Getty Images
California's forests could benefit from more fires, according to scientists. An emerging body of science has found that dead trees don't significantly increase the likelihood of wildfires, with drought and human impact being the largest factors. Prescribed fires are the best way to reduce fire risk, but this strategy raises public concerns about air pollution and can be challenging to adopt for political and social reasons. Scientists say that dead trees can provide valuable habitat, as can forests burned by mixed-intensity fires. ( Link)
Hottest ever June marks 14th month of record-breaking temperatures
Photo Michele Cornelius/Alamy
The world is on track for its hottest year on record and levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have reached new highs. June 2016 marks the 14th consecutive month of record-breaking heat,   exceeding the 20th century average by 0.9C. The 14-month streak of record-breaking temperatures is the longest in the 137-year record. The average temperature in the first six months of 2016 was 1.3C warmer than the pre-industrial era in the late 19th century. The last month in which global temperatures were below the 20th-century average was December 1984. ( Guardian)
2006: the first of a new, deadlier kind of heat wave for California 
2006 was not a traditional California heat wave. It was deadly not so much for scorching daytime temperatures but rather high levels of humidity that trapped the heat at night. Due to a warming Baja California ocean, California will likely face more similar humid heat waves. In the 2006 heat wave, over 600 people died, most of them in inland California, and many of them middle-aged Latino men. Scientists think that some of the victims, accustomed to the nighttime cooling that typically occurs, did not use air-conditioning at night. Local governments are now better prepared, with shuttles for cooling centers and other emergency measures in place. ( Link)
The extraordinary has become normal: Scientists survey radical Arctic melting
Records are tumbling, as the Arctic sea ice hit record lows for five out of six months so far in 2016.Sea ice has lost an area twice the size of Alaska and diminished in thickness by about 50 percent. Permafrost is melting, and the jet stream is becoming wavier. The most troubling aspect is the potential for the Arctic changes to be non-linear with temperature increase: once the freezing point has been crossed, the total phase change for water and feedback processes could mean an amplifying of impacts. ( WashPost
Too hot to work: global warming to cost $2 trillion in lost productivity
Rising temperatures may cost the world economy over $2 trillion in lost productivity by 2030 as hot weather makes it unbearable to work in some parts of the world, according to U.N. research. In Southeast Asia, up to 20 percent of annual work hours may already be lost due to extreme heat, and this could double by 2050. "Failure will cause the frequency and intensity of disasters to worsen dramatically beyond 2050, and the situation at the end of this century will be especially alarming for the world's poorest people." ( Thomson Reuters)
Heat increases kidney disease for outdoor workers
Scientists have found a correlation between an increasing epidemic of chronic kidney disease and warming temperature patterns. Outdoor farm workers are the most vulnerable, as they work long hours and, because they are often paid by production volume, do not break frequently for water. The research shows that when temperatures exceed 95 F for six hours, workers have trouble cooling themselves by sweating and other normal responses. More frequent breaks, access to shade, and water would be effective and low-cost response strategies. ( Colorado)
EPA paves way for future rulemaking on GHG emissions from aviation
The EPA finalized findings that greenhouse gas emissions from aviation pose a danger to public health, paving the way for the agency to propose aircraft engine emissions standards. Separately, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has been working on a global market-based mechanism for shrinking airplanes' carbon footprint in March 2017. EPA anticipates that its standards would be "at least as stringent as ICAO's standards." Aircraft are the third largest contributor to GHG emissions in the U.S. transportation sector. ( EPA)
Resources and Tools
GreenTrip Connect: Calculating the benefits of housing and transit
This free online tool helps you instantly calculate how smart location, affordable homes and traffic reduction strategies can reduce driving and greenhouse gas emissions from residential development. Users can input a specific site and explore the environmental, social, and economic perks of improving proposed housing with more affordable units, less parking, or new on-site transportation choices like car sharing. It also calculates how much money and space can be saved from right-sized parking. (
Georgetown Climate Center: Adaptation Clearinghouse
Georgetown Climate Center has recently updated its Adaptation Clearinghouse, a database filled with 2000+ resources on climate adaptation, to make the database easier to navigate, facilitate peer networking, create new portals sorted by sector and level of government, and generate expert feedback with new filtering and highlighting features. ( GCC)
Upcoming Opportunities
California Adaptation Forum - Scholarships now available!
To help advance the broader equity and climate justice movement across California, scholarships are available to help attendees to participate in the California Adaptation Forum (September 7 - 8 in Long Beach). Scholarships of up to $1,000 will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, with need and background taken into consideration. Please note that there is significant funding set aside specifically for the capital region. Priority will be given to community-based groups and leaders that directly work in and represent disadvantaged communities. Deadline: August 5. ( CAF)
APA National Planning Conference Call for Session Proposals
Is your work advancing the field of planning? Do you have insights that would enlighten your colleagues in the field? Propose a session, workshop, or discussion and help make the 2017 conference. Proposals are due August 25, 2016. ( APA )
Course: Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for Cities
A vulnerability assessment establishes the nature and likelihood of the climate impact and the adaptive capacity of the community. This assessment becomes the basis for developing plans for a resilient city. The hour-long course goes over assessing the local effects of climate change, identifying vulnerable assets, assessing adaptive capacity, and more. ( Planetizen
Upcoming Events
California's climate plan: Sacramento Community Meeting
Friday, July 29, 5-8pm
Sierra 2 Center, 2791 24th Street, Sacramento
State of California officials and local environmental justice leaders want to hear from you about climate change, clean air, clean energy, and livable communities. This is a unique opportunity to make your voice heard at a meeting held by the Air Resources Board and the Environmental Justice Advisory Committee. Come learn about the state's goals and approach to addressing climate change, share your thoughts about what matters most to you and your community, and connect with programs benefiting communities that need it most. ( Learn more or register)
2016 AEP Institute: Climate Change Implications and Adaptation
August 1-2, 2016, Sacramento
This symposium will bring together experts from a diverse range of interests to discuss topics such as how the new 2030 goals for GHG reductions will impact CEQA projects; regulations and social trends affecting future per capita and gross GHG emissions in California; how to include climate change in General Plan updates, Regional Transportation Plans, and Sustainable Communities Strategies; and incorporating climate resiliency into projects. ( AEP)
Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition Networking Meeting
Friday, August 5th 10am-3pm, Sierra 2 Center, 2791 24th Street, Sacramento
The Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition is having their next quarterly networking meeting on Friday, August 5th in Sacramento from 10am-3pm at the Sierra 2 Center. Join climate and energy professionals from across the state for in-depth climate and energy regulatory updates, a discussion of opportunities to shape a sustainable and resilient energy system, and a keynote from California Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister. (Register)
Improving Access to Renewables & Energy Efficiency: Sierra Nevada Workshop
Monday, August 22, 5-7pm
Lake Tahoe Community College, Aspen Room, 1 College Way, South Lake Tahoe
Please join the California Energy Commission and Sierra CAMP as we discuss the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015 (SB 350). The Energy Commission is looking for your input on how to make renewable energy and energy efficiency investments accessible. Our goal is to understand the barriers to and opportunities for renewable energy, energy efficiency and weatherization programs for low-income customers in disadvantaged communities. ( RSVP)
Sacramento County Climate Action Plan - Communitywide Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation Stakeholder Kickoff Meeting
Wednesday, August 24, 1:30pm PDT
Sacramento County is working on completing the second phase of its multi-phase Climate Action Plan. The current project will focus on Communitywide Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation. This meeting will introduce the project, present an overview of the process, and provide stakeholders with the opportunity to identify issues early in the process. The meeting is open to representatives of public agencies, business organizations, environmental groups, and other interested parties. If you are interested in attending, please contact Todd Taylor for more information. (Email)
California Adaptation Forum - Early bird registration until August 12
September 7-8, Renaissance Long Beach Hotel
Connect with a diverse audience of over 600 local, regional, and state leaders who are committed to addressing California's adaptation needs. The 2016 California Adaptation Forum will feature a variety of breakout sessions on essential adaptation topics that reflect the diverse needs and challenges facing California, regional project tours highlighting adaptation efforts in Southern California, pre-forum workshops on tools and strategies for implementing adaptation solutions, and numerous networking opportunities. ( 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.