Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
March 22, 2019
A biweekly newsletter of the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative
We are amazed, inspired, and humbled by the one million youth who marched for climate action across the world, from Sydney to Manila, Delhi to Hamburg, Boston to right here in Sacramento. Over 200 students gathered at the Capitol to call for support for the Green New Deal, science-based climate curriculum at school, and a halt to new fossil fuel infrastructure. It is inspiring – but also shameful – because we collectively have so far failed, as adults, to deliver the climate actions needed to avert a global emergency. Thank you, youth strikers, for demonstrating such leadership at a time when you should only be playing and dreaming of your future. May we not let you down.
‘It’s our time to rise up’: youth climate strikes held in 100 countries
From Australia to America, children put down their books on Friday to march for change in the first global climate strike. Students at tens of thousands of schools around the world, including Sacramento, left their classes and took to the streets to demand world leaders act on climate change. “ If those in power today don’t act, it will be our generation who will live through their failure,” they remind us in their own words. Youth Climate Strike organizers around the US and the world shared their motivations and how climate change is impacting their communities. Here are photos of the youth climate strike from around the US and the world. The Intercept delves into some of the pain and sadness that led students to start protesting against what they see as a profound betrayal by adults. And learn more about Greta Thunberg, the girl whose solitary strikes in front of the Swedish parliament sparked the entire movement. Photo: Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images
Sharp rise in Arctic temperatures now inevitable, potentially triggering tipping points
Sharp and potentially devastating temperature rises of 3C to 5C in the Arctic are now inevitable even if the world succeeds in cutting GHG emissions in line with the Paris agreement, research has found. Winter temperatures at the North Pole are likely to rise by at least 3C above pre-industrial levels by mid-century, and there could be further rises to between 5C and 9C. Such changes would result in rapidly melting ice and permafrost, and potentially trigger a “tipping point” as melting permafrost releases the powerful GHG methane, which in turn could create a runaway warming effect. Last year’s stark warnings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, setting out the dramatic impacts of 1.5C of global warming, did not include the impacts of potential tipping points such as melting permafrost. Nearly half of Arctic permafrost could be lost even if global carbon emissions are held within the Paris agreement limits. ( Guardian) Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images
High heat warnings go out too late in some of US
A new study finds that warnings of dangerously high temperatures are coming too late in some parts of the US, with hospital admissions for heat problems occurring long before alerts go out in northern, generally cooler states. In the Midwest and North Central states, when the heat index — which combines temperature and humidity — hits 85 degrees, there’s a noticeable jump in the number of people who go to the hospital with heat-related illnesses. But the National Weather Service’s first level of heat alerts don’t kick in in those regions until the heat index approaches 100. Heat hospitalizations in the West and East also jump before heat warnings are issued, but only a few degrees from alert thresholds. ( AP)
Farmworkers are on the frontline of climate change
Most people are unaware that the abundant produce available in modern supermarkets—tomatoes, strawberries, even oranges—is all picked by hand. And because farmworkers are often paid by the piece, they pick as fast as they can, even when that means neglecting to take breaks and drinking water. When it’s hot, the stress of this rapid harvesting takes a hefty toll on the body. The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has no regulations for heat stress, despite well-documented temperature increases. OSHA’s general-duty clause requires employers to provide a safe workplace with access to potable water and shade, but offers no specific standards to guard workers who labor long hours in excessive heat. According to Public Citizen, 130 million U.S. workers earn a living outdoors, notably farmworkers and construction workers. Between 1992 and 2016, nearly 70,000 of those workers suffered serious heat-related injuries, and 783 people died. ( Civil Eats) Photo: Nano Riley
Heat-induced heart attack risk on the rise
A new study examining over 27,000 heart attacks between 1987 and 2014 found that the risk of suffering a heat-induced heart attack has increased significantly in recent years. The researchers suspect that this is partly a result of global warming, but that it is also a consequence of an increase in risk factors such as diabetes and hyperlipidaemia, which have made the population more susceptible to heat. "Our study suggests that greater consideration should be given to high temperatures as a potential trigger for heart attacks – especially in view of climate change," explains lead researcher Dr. Alexandra Schneider. ( Science Daily)
Iconic forests reaching climate tipping points in American West, study finds
Climate change in the American West may be crossing an ominous threshold, making wildfire recovery more difficult for some native pine and fir forests, new research suggests. Hotter, drier air and drier soil conditions are increasingly unsuitable for young Douglas firs and ponderosa pines to take root and thrive in some of the region's low-elevation forests. Wildfires in these areas could lead to abrupt ecosystem changes, from forest to non-forest, that would otherwise take decades to centuries, the study says. ( ICN)
California wildfires ‘can now happen in any year’
Large wildfires of the kind seen in 2018 can now happen in any year, regardless of how wet the previous winter was. A new study found that from 1600 to 1903, wet winters brought on by the jet stream were followed by a less intense wildfire season, while dry winters were followed by more intense fires. But after 1904, the connection between winter moisture and wildfires was seen to weaken. This coincides with the beginning of a fire suppression policy on US federal lands. The connection then disappears completely after 1977. Now, even wet winters may be followed by large fires due to high summer temperatures drying out abundant vegetation. ( BBC) Photo: AFP
The US is only decades away from widespread water shortages, warn scientists
Much of the US could be gripped by significant water shortages from the year 2071 on, according to a new study. Scientists say the combined effects of climate change and population growth are projected to present “serious challenges” in close to half of the 204 watersheds in the contiguous US, including California and the Southwest. The team is eager to emphasise that these projected water shortages are not locked in, though, and could be mitigated by adaptations to water usage – especially in agriculture (75% of annual consumption) and industry. ( Science Alert) Photo: John Gibbons/Unsplash
A third of Himalayan ice caps doomed
At least a third of the huge ice fields in Asia’s towering mountain chain are doomed to melt due to climate change, according to a landmark report, with serious consequences for almost 2 billion people. Even if carbon emissions are rapidly cut and succeed in limiting global warming to 1.5C, 36% of the glaciers along in the Hindu Kush and Himalaya range will have gone by 2100. If emissions are not cut, the loss soars to two-thirds. The glaciers are a critical water store for the 250 million people who live in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya region, and 1.65 billion people rely on the great rivers that flow from the peaks into India, Pakistan, China and other nations. The melting glaciers will increase river flows through to 2050 to 2060, pushing up the risk of high-altitude lakes bursting their banks and engulfing communities. But from the 2060s, river flows will go into decline. The most serious impact will be on farmers in the foothills and downstream. ( Guardian ) Photo: Alex Treadway/ICIMOD
It’s 2050 and this is how we stopped climate change
When NPR interviewed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in February about her Green New Deal, she said that her goal was bigger than just passing some new laws. "What I hope we're able to do is rediscover the power of public imagination," she said. Well, we're unleashing our imagination and exploring a dream, a possible future in which we're bringing global warming to a halt. It's a world in which greenhouse emissions have ended. So — what does this world look like? ( NPR)
Tools & Resources
Delta Public Lands Strategy
This document reflects a progress report and compilation of the ideas and concepts for an integrated conservation strategy for publicly funded lands in the west, central, and northeast Delta. This strategy is a high-level view of the opportunities and constraints for conservation, agricultural sustainability, flood management, recreation, and other Delta priorities. ( Link)
Water and the Future of the San Joaquin Valley
The San Joaquin Valley—California’s largest agricultural region and an important contributor to the nation’s food supply—is ground zero for many of California’s most difficult water management problems, including groundwater overdraft, drinking water contamination, and declines in habitat and native species. This report explores three key challenges facing the San Joaquin Valley and reviews the most promising approaches to address them: balancing water supplies and demands, addressing groundwater quality challenges, and fostering beneficial water and land use transitions. ( PPIC)
OPR Announces Update to the California Solar Permitting Guidebook
The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, the California Office of the State Fire Marshal, the California Building Standards Commission, and the California Department of Housing and Community Development have updated the California Solar Permitting Guidebook in response to new legislative orders and updated codes. The Guidebook offers standardized documents that serve as templates for creating uniform and expedited permitting for small-scale solar. ( OPR)
Upcoming Opportunities
Job Opportunity: Climate & Energy Project Associate, Local Government Commission
The Local Government Commission (LGC) is looking for a passionate and collaborative individual to join the Climate Change and Energy team to support the planning, coordination, and execution of projects related to climate change mitigation, adaptation and resiliency, electrification, and more. The LGC is seeking a motivated, committed individual with strong communications, strategy development, and stakeholder engagement experience. This is an excellent opportunity build expertise in the rapidly evolving field of climate mitigation and adaptation. ( LGC)
Sacramento Tree Foundation seeking community partners for tree planting
The Sacramento Tree Foundation is looking for community partners for its NeighborWoods program which seeks to develop neighborhood forests through community action. The Tree Foundation has a grant to plant trees in disadvantaged areas in the unincorporated County, many of which are in Environmental Justice Communities. If you are interested in partnering with the Tree Foundation to plant trees in your community, please contact Theresa Bible (916-974-4306;, NeighborWoods Organizer for the unincorporated County. ( Link)
SolSmart 2019 City & County Challenge
To encourage and help more local governments become solar-ready, SolSmart is launching its 2019 City & County Challenge Campaign. The Challenge Campaign offers cities and counties new to the SolSmart program a chance to win special prizes and move towards Bronze, Silver, or Gold designation. Simply by holding a one-on-one consultation call with SolSmart staff and submitting a Solar Statement (a letter of interest committing staff time to receive technical assistance in pursuit of designation), your community will be eligible to receive special prizes. The Challenge Campaign will run from March 4 through June 21, 2019. ( Learn more)
Draft Grant Administration Guide for Proposition 68 funding available for public review
This guide will be used for the administration of capital improvement projects awarded through the California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2018 (Proposition 68). Public review and comments may be sent to or in person at a public hearing. Deadline: March 29. ( Link)
10 th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum – Call for Proposals Now Open!
The 2019 Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum (June 26-27, Long Beach) is an opportunity to showcase innovative best practices, local projects, strategies for energy efficiency and sustainability, and tools and technologies. We are looking for creative and interactive sessions that engage a broad spectrum of energy and sustainability practitioners. We are very interested in proposals that highlight impactful energy efficiency measures and lift up the voices of local governments and disadvantaged, underserved communities. Deadline: April 2, 2019, 5pm. ( Link)
California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) Grants
CDFA’s Dairy Digester Research and Development Program (DDRDP) provides financial assistance for the installation of dairy digesters. The Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP) provides financial assistance for the implementation of non-digester manure management practices in California. Deadline: 5pm, April 3. 
Fisheries Habitat Restoration Grants
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), is soliciting proposals for projects that restore, enhance, or protect anadromous salmonid habitat in watersheds of California or projects that lead to process-based restoration, enhancement, or protection of anadromous salmonid habitat, as well as contribute to the objectives of the California Water Action Plan, State Wildlife Action Plan, and fulfillment of CDFW's mission. Particular emphasis is being placed on habitats that will be notably impacted by climate change, and the projects must seek to make those habitats more resilient. Deadline: 3pm, April 16. ( CDFW)
Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program Easement and Planning Grants
The Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation (SALC) Program makes strategic investments to protect agricultural lands from conversion to more GHG-intensive uses. Easement grants have no maximum limit and aim to protect important agricultural lands under threat of conversion through the acquisition of voluntary, permanent agricultural conservation easements. Planning grants provide up to $250,000 to local and regional governments to work closely with local stakeholders to develop local and regional land use policies and implementation activities that integrate agricultural land conservation in a way that reduces or avoids GHG emissions, supports job creation, and benefits AB 1550 populations. The pre-proposal deadline (required only for easement grants) is April 17, and the final deadline for both easement and planning grants is Friday, September 13. ( SGC)
2019 AARP Community Challenge
The AARP Community Challenge funds community-based “quick-action” projects related to housing, transportation, smart cities and public spaces. The goal is to spark change and build momentum to improve livability for people of all ages. Deadline April 17. ( AARP)
Federal Small-Scale Water Efficiency Projects Funding Opportunity
Small-scale water efficiency projects are eligible for a funding opportunity being offered by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Potential projects include installation of flow- measurement devices and municipal meter upgrades. Matching funding of as much as $75,000 is available for each project. Deadline: April 24. (
Funding: Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014
The State Coastal Conservancy will award approximately $20 million in funding from Proposition 1, the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014. The Conservancy’s four priority areas for funding are water sustainability improvements, anadromous fish habitat enhancement, wetland restoration, and urban greening. The Conservancy will prioritize projects that help California communities prepare for the impacts of climate change, achieve multiple benefits, serve disadvantaged communities, and result in quantifiable outcomes. Deadline: April 30, 5pm. ( Link)
Launch your social purpose career with CivicSpark!
CivicSpark, a Governor’s Initiative AmeriCorps program, is currently recruiting 90 Fellows who are interested in serving with local governments in California to address a broad range of resiliency issues. Fellows implement local projects on topics including sustainable transportation, energy efficiency, climate action planning, water conservation, drought response, affordable housing, and rural-broadband. Fellows gain exceptional career experience and training to become future leaders in California’s response to emerging environmental and social equity challenges. CivicSpark is looking for upcoming/recent college graduates who want to gain real-world experience, launch a social purpose career, and make a lasting impact! Learn more about CivicSpark by attending a Fellow Recruitment Webinar. The application for the 2019-20 Fellow service year opens April 1st. ( Link)
Apply today to receive CivicSpark support for your climate and resilience projects
CivicSpark is a Governor’s Initiative AmeriCorps program dedicated to building capacity for local agencies to address community resilience to environmental and socioeconomic challenges such as climate change, water resource management, affordable housing, and mobility. CivicSpark Fellows are AmeriCorp Members that serve at public agencies for 11 months, supporting resiliency-focused research, planning, and implementation projects such as climate action planning, climate risk assessments, waste reduction, stormwater resource planning, housing equity programs, shared mobility, and more. Learn more by attending an informational webinar. Applications will be accepted in waves, with the second on May 3. ( CivicSpark)
California Statewide Park Program
The Statewide Park Program competitive grants will create new parks and new recreation opportunities in critically underserved communities. The current funding round offers $254,942,000. Types of target projects include creating a new park, or expanding or renovating an existing park. Eligible entities include cities, counties, districts, join powers authorities, and nonprofits. Applications must be postmarked or hand-delivered by August 5th, 2019. ( SPP)
Funding: Acorn Foundation's general support grants for environmental justice groups
The Acorn Foundation is dedicated to supporting community-based organizations working to advance environmental conservation, sustainability and environmental justice. The Foundation is particularly interested in small and innovative community-based projects that engage in community organizing to advocate for environmental health and justice; preserve and restore habitats supporting biological diversity and wildlife; and prevent or remedy toxic pollution. The Foundation has an open Letter of Inquiry process for general support grants ($5,000-$10,000) to grassroots organizations. ( Link)
Upcoming Events
Join us for a Lantern Festival across the I Street Bridge!
Saturday, March 23, 7-9pm
West Sacramento Parking Lot, 201 C Street, West Sacramento (at the base of the I Street Bridge)
The existing I Street Bridge, built in 1912, provides a critical railroad line for regional and national goods movement. The City of West Sacramento received a Caltrans Sustainable Communities Grant to study how to transform the bridge to serve only pedestrians and bicyclists. Motorized vehicles would be moved from the existing bridge to the new I Street Bridge. Join us for a lantern festival to learn about the study, provide your input, and celebrate the region’s cultural heritage! The festival will include a lantern walk with live music and entertainment. Arrive early (6-7pm) to create a one-of-a-kind LED lantern that you carry as you walk across the bridge! ( Link)
Webinar: California’s Electric Vehicle Incentives: What Do We Know?
Monday, March 25, 1-2pm
California has a world-leading set of policies encouraging the adoption of EVs. Setting the specifics of these policies requires some tough choices to try to thread a variety of needles. How does the state incentivize a novel technology without unduly subsidizing the wealthy? How does the state balance efforts to provide incentives, support infrastructure, and increase public awareness? And how can the state be sure that efforts to incentives EVs are working? ( Register)
Agricultural Conservation Technical Assistance Webinars
Tuesday, March 26, and Thursday April 4, both 11am
The Department of Conservation will be hosting two webinars to provide technical assistance to potential applicants under the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation (SALC) Program. The webinar for the easement grants will be on March 26, and for the planning grants on April 4. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to ( SGC)  
Public Workshop on SB 375 Sustainable Communities & Climate Protection Program
April 3, 2-4pm
CalEPA, Sierra Hearing Room, 1001 I Street, Sacramento
The California Air Resources Board (CARB or Board) staff invites you to participate in a public workshop to discuss updates to the Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) Program and Evaluation Guidelines, which outlines how CARB evaluates each Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (MPOs) SCS. The updated SCS Program and Evaluation Guidelines will be available approximately two weeks prior to this workshop. ( CARB)
Webinar: Expanding Solar Participation Through Community Solar
Thursday, April 4, 11am
Community solar is gaining popularity in cities and counties across the country. It allows multiple energy consumers, such as residents and local businesses, to lease or own shares of a single solar PV array and receive compensation for the electricity that their portion of the system produces. This webinar will describe the community solar concept and the various models employed to implement it; discuss the enabling regulatory and legislative conditions that are key to deployment; and present several case studies of successful community solar. ( Register)
Registration for the National Adaptation Forum is now open!
The 4th National Adaptation Forum will take place in Madison, WI, from April 23-25, 2019. Attendees will learn how to make their work climate-informed, share insights with others, and develop a stronger network of like-minded peers. Early registration ends March 1, 2019. ( Link)
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 .