Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
June 29, 2016
A biweekly newsletter of the Climate Readiness Collaborative

Last week we held our second Quarterly Meeting of 2016, focusing on a vision for a climate-resilient region. After a welcome from City of Sacramento Councilmember Steve Hansen and CRC Chair Kathleen Ave, Susan Rainier gave an engaging presentation on the International Living Future Institute's (ILFI) advanced standards for sustainable, resilient buildings and communities. ArchNexus, a local architectural firm, shared the challenges and opportunities of designing a Living Building as they aim to become the first in Sacramento to achieve ILFI's Living Building Challenge - a feat accomplished by only 11 others around the world.  Along with Mutual Housing's net-zero farmer worker housing, these examples show how the capital region can lead the way in preparing for the future.  

As a reminder, nominations for the first Regional Adaptation Leadership Award are due this Friday, July 1st.  The Award will recognize one individual who has distinguished her- or himself in the climate change adaptation field through exceptional leadership. Details are available below, or click here to learn more.
Shattered records show climate change is an emergency today, scientists warn 
May was the 13th month in a row to break temperature records that are the latest in 2016's string of incredible climate records which scientists have described as a bombshell and an emergency. The series of smashed global records, particularly the extraordinary heat in February and March, has provoked a stunned reaction from climate scientists, who are warning that climate change has reached unprecedented levels and is no longer only a threat for the future. Other records have tumbled around the world, from vanishing Arctic sea ice to a searing drought in India and the vast bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef. (Guardian)
26 million tree deaths in Sierra in last 8 months alone 
Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times
A lethal combination of drought, heat, and voracious bark beetles has killed 26 million trees in the Sierra Nevada over the last eight months, bringing the total number of dead trees to 66 million since 2010. The rapid escalation of tree deaths is a grave issue, threatening the collapse of the ecosystem of the world's sixth largest economy. Last week alone CalFire responded to over 250 fires. Although southern Sierra Nevada is the epicenter of the die off, tree deaths are increasing in Tahoe and El Dorado, and mortality will continue even after the drought ends. ( LA Times)
California's street trees provide $1 billion worth of ecosystem services each year
Researchers from UC Davis and the U.S. Forestry Service found that California's 9.1 million street trees provide $1 billion in ecosystem services each year, or about $111 per tree, including $838 million in property value benefits, $42 million in stormwater reduction, and $101 million worth of energy savings. Street trees also remove 568,000 metric tons of carbon annually, through carbon sequestration and energy use reduction. With annual management costs of $19 per tree, every $1 spent returns $5.82 in benefits. While the number of street trees increased by 4 million from 1988 to 2014, tree density declined by 30 percent, from 66 to 47 trees per km. The study also found that many cities are overly reliant on a single species, and city streets are at 36 percent capacity, with 16 million more vacant planting sites. ( Science Direct, Full Study)
Map fire risk to guide new development and prevention efforts in fire-prone regions
Using data on fire ignitions, weather, vegetation, and topography, models can demonstrate how a region is likely to burn, calculating the probability of burning and the likely fire intensity. The maps can help identify areas that, if they ignite, would burn at such high intensities that the best options are to evacuate or to never develop at all. The map can also identify areas where fire would be easier to prevent and tackle, and the most effective areas for intervention. ( Nature)
How federal flood maps ignore the threat of climate change
Many FEMA flood risk maps are out of date, and none of them account for the anticipated effects of climate change. As a result, flood-related decisions - from policy to funding to building codes and insurance rates - across the country are based on maps that account for only today's environment and historical risk. One barrier to change is funding; a 2013 report estimated it would cost $7.5 billion to update FEMA's maps, and then $275 million annually to ensure they stay current. Another barrier is political: homeowners do not want to be mapped into a higher-risk flood zone and pay higher insurance rates. ( PBS)
Crowdsourced mapping is revolutionizing disaster response
Kathmandu Living Labs
Maps are a critical part of disaster response and recovery but they may often be crude, outdated, or non-existent. Now, thanks to technology citizens are collectively mapping cites and countries, including some areas for the first time. And when disasters hit, these online communities can mobilize quickly to compile and update maps of survivors, their needs, damage, and more. This was tested by the Nepal earthquake in 2015, when within days, thousands of worldwide volunteers launched a massive online and ground-based mapping initiative. These crowdsourced maps, better by far than any provided by officials, were used by local responders, the Nepalese military, and the UN. ( Guardian)
Thanks to globalization, climate impacts will cascade across supply networks
A new study investigating climate-related disturbances in the global supply network found that climate impacts in one place could have repercussions across the world. While industrialized countries are thought to have greater adaptation capacity overall, many supply chains they rely on pass through developing countries that are far less equipped to deal with worsening climate impacts. Focusing on extreme heat's impacts on the global trade network, the study found increasing globalization was a major factor in the amplification of climate-related production losses cascading throughout the supply chain. Countries and companies may need to take adaptation measures such as finding backup suppliers. ( Washington Post)
New Orleans embraces water inside city with new green model
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press
In a metamorphosis from its past focus on bigger levees and pumps to keep water out, New Orleans is now becoming a national model of how a city can embrace green infrastructure to tame water. The city has received about $249 million in federal funds to turn entire neighborhoods into green infrastructure experiments that will filter and store water in parks and fields, and under streets and parking lots. Recently adopted zoning rules require new large commercial projects to install porous pavement, water-capturing land elements, and ponding areas. The federal government hopes to encourage the model across the nation in this era of climate change and intensifying storms, sea-level rise, and increasing urbanization. ( AP)
New alliance of 7,100 cities to fight climate change together
Mike Segar/Reuters
In the fight against climate change, cities are where the action is. Today, the two biggest coalitions of cities in the world - the EU-based Covenant of Mayors and the UN-backed Compact of Mayors - are forming an alliance to link more than 600 million city dwellers in the fight against climate change. Cities not only account for most of the world's carbon emissions, but mayors also often have strong incentives to take action, such as benefits to public health and the local economy. The alliance, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, will coordinate efforts between cities; improve collecting and sharing data and progress tracking; help cities with investments, and more. ( Guardian)
Demystifying Climate Models: A User Guide to Earth System Models
This new book, currently free to download, provides an overview of climate modeling for practitioners seeking a better understanding of how to read and use climate models. ( Link)
Natural infrastructure as cost-effective community protection 
A new report from the National Wildlife Foundation and global insurers Allied World highlights successful examples of natural and nature-based approaches to reduce damage from weather- and climate-related disasters such as floods, erosion, and wildfire. Examples include managing floodplains for extremes of wet and dry in the Central Valley, reducing riverine flooding in Oregon, and managing forests to break the fire-flood cycle in Arizona. The report also has policy recommendations, such as encouraging federal policy that allows natural systems to be considered as cost-effective alternatives to gray infrastructure, reducing regulatory barriers, and increasing pre-disaster planning and mitigation under the Stafford Act. ( NWF)
City Green: Innovative Green Infrastructure Solutions for Downtown and Infill Locations
Communities of all sizes are using green infrastructure to manage stormwater to capture, slow down, and filter runoff. This report is for local governments, private developers, and other stakeholders who help shape redevelopment projects in downtowns and infill locations, providing successful strategies and lessons learned. The case studies demonstrate how green infrastructure can overcome barriers such as contaminated sites and soils, historic properties, highly space-constrained sites, arid climates, and long-term maintenance. ( EPA)
Upcoming Opportunities
ASAP Regional Adaptation Leadership Award - Deadline is This Friday, July 1
The American Society for Adaptation Professionals - in partnership with the California Adaptation Forum - is launching its first Regional Adaptation Leadership Award competition at the California Adaptation Forum. The Award will recognize one individual who has distinguished her- or himself in the climate change adaptation field through exceptional leadership. Nominations are due July 1, 2016. ( Link)
CivicSpark: Receive Project Support to Advance Your Resiliency Initiatives
CivicSpark is now accepting project applications for the 2016-17 service year! CivicSpark helps local governments build their climate response capacity by working directly with local staff or in the community on projects that address their larger climate action goals. Local government agencies or non-governmental organizations can contract directly with LGC for Civicspark fellows to support projects and programs. Priority deadline: July 1, 2016. ( Link)
New Partners for Smart Growth Conference: Call for Session Proposals
The Local Government Commission is conducting a Call for Session Proposals for the 2017 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference. The organizers are looking for interactive session proposals of all types under thematic categories such as community resilience and energy independence, equitable development and environmental justice, and transportation. Conference organizers are placing an emphasis on sessions that focus on implementation, or provide training or instruction on the use of practical tools and technologies and the application of innovative strategies and resources. Deadline: July 5, 2016. ( Link)
Seeking Comments: EPA's Evaluating Urban Resilience to Climate Change 
The EPA has released a draft report and tool that uses quantitative and qualitative indicators to help cities identify areas of resilience and vulnerability to climate impacts across different sectors. Aimed at local and state planners and climate change staff, the tool will identify indicators of traits that may enhance or inhibit community resilience, allowing decision makers to focus on the least-resilient areas. The draft is open for comments until July 21. ( EPA)
Funders' Network: Partners for Places
Partners for Places is a successful matching grant program that creates opportunities for cities and counties in the U.S. and Canada to improve communities by building partnerships between local government sustainability offices and place-based foundations. National funders invest in local projects to promote a healthy environment, a strong economy, and well-being of all residents. Applications are due July 25, 2016. ( Link)
Job opportunity: ICLEI, Program Officer, Network Relations
ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA (ICLEI) is the largest and most progressive association of local governments in the United States focused specifically on ambitious action on climate change. The Program Officer plays an essential role in building ICLEI's network and in delivering ICLEI's tools and technical assistance to communities across the nation. ( ICLEI)
Upcoming Events
Cool Pavements Tour at the UC Davis Pavement Research Center
Thursday, July 7, 8:30-10:30am
2001 Ghausi Hall, One Shields Ave, Davis, CA 95616
The  UC Davis Pavement Research Center is conducting exciting research on cool pavements and is offering a tour to CRC members that will cover an overview of their research, life cycle analysis work, and studies around permeable pavements and other related research. We will also have the chance to tour their pavement garden, where they are currently collecting data on cool pavements.  Space is limited! Register by  Tuesday, July 5th  if you are interested in participating on the tour. (Register)
Registration Open for the Climate Science Symposium (9/6) and California Adaptation Forum (97-9/8)
Joint registration is NOW OPEN for the  California Adaptation Forum  and  Climate Science Symposium !

The 2nd California Adaptation Forum - hosted by the Local Government Commission, in partnership with the State of California - will be the premiere convening for a multi-disciplinary group of 1,000+ leaders, practitioners, and other key players, gathered to discuss, debate, and consider how we can most effectively respond to the impacts of climate change.

The Forum is taking place September 7-8, 2016 in Long Beach, CA and will feature:
  • A series of plenaries with high-level adaptation leaders 
  • A variety of sessions highlighting resources, best practices, lessons learned, new legislation, State policy priorities, and other essential adaptation topics 
  • Pre-forum regional project tours highlighting local adaptation and resilience efforts 
  • Pre-forum workshops on tools and strategies for implementing adaptation solutions
The California Adaptation Forum is being held in conjunction with the Climate Science Symposium, convened by California Natural Resources Agency, the California Environmental Protection Agency, the Governor's Office of Planning and Research. The California Climate Change Symposium will take place on September 6th and feature cutting edge climate science methods, resources, and updates.
Registrants will have the opportunity to register for the California Adaptation Forum, the California Climate Change Symposium or both - by visiting
Smart Green Cities - Case studies in resilient and sustainable energy technologies
Thursday, July 14, 11am-noon PDT
New emerging technologies related to the "Internet of Things" and distributed energy resources are quickly changing the energy landscape for cities. This webinar will feature two contrasting cities - Cambridge, Mass., and San Diego, Calif. - to explore on-going smart city initiatives that intersect with climate resiliency, clean and renewable distributed energy, microgrids and zero net energy concepts. A speaker from DNV GL will also share a study of 30 cities and utilities on perspectives and opportunities for smart city private-public partnerships. ( 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. Early registration ends July 8th. ( AEP, Agenda)
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.