Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
May 2, 2019
A biweekly newsletter of the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative
'Falling through the cracks': vulnerable U.S. homeowners overlooked after disasters
Recent disasters like the California wildfires have exposed nationwide gaps in the post-disaster social safety net for people in non-traditional housing situations, such as those living in mobile or rental homes and the homeless. The 2017 and 2018 California wildfires devastated areas where mobile home parks play a key role in housing farm workers, elderly people and other low-income communities. But there is no effective aid-funded program that will help rebuild or relocate a mobile home park, and mobile home residents often are not able to access the post-disaster assistance available to other homeowners. ( Reuters) Photo: Alex Rapoport
Big buildings hurt the climate. New York City hopes to change that.
New York City is about to embark on an ambitious plan to fight climate change that would force thousands of large buildings, like the Empire State Building and Trump Tower, to sharply reduce their GHG emissions. The legislation would set emission caps for many different types of buildings, with the goal of achieving a 40 percent overall reduction of emissions by 2030.  The cumulative cost to building owners to make the upgrades needed to meet the caps would exceed $4 billion, but building owners would eventually recoup those costs through lower operating expenses. ( NYT) Photo: Karsten Moran for The New York Times
40 percent tree canopy needed to maximize cooling benefit for cities
The shade of a single tree can provide welcome relief from the hot summer sun. But when that single tree is part of a small forest, it creates a profound cooling effect. According to a new study, the right amount of tree cover can lower summer daytime temperatures by as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit. And the effect is quite noticeable from neighborhood to neighborhood, even down to the scale of a single city block. The data showed that 40 percent canopy cover is the threshold required to trigger the large cooling effects of trees, and the greatest amount of cooling happens once that threshold is crossed over the scale of a city block or larger. "It's not really enough to just kind of go out and plant trees, we really need to think about how many we're planting and where we're planting them," says lead author Carly Ziter. "The trees we plant now or the areas we pave now are going to be determining the temperatures of our cities in the next century." ( Eureka)
Can humans help trees outrun climate change?
Most trees can migrate only as fast as their seeds disperse — and if current warming trends hold, the climate this century will change 10 times faster than many tree species can move, according to one estimate. So foresters have launched ambitious experiments to test how people can help forests adapt, something that might take decades to occur naturally. One controversial idea, known as assisted migration, involves deliberately moving trees northward. But trees can live centuries, and environments are changing so fast in some places that species planted today may be ill-suited to conditions in 50 years, let alone 100. No one knows the best way to make forests more resilient to climatic upheaval. ( NYT)
Death by a thousand cuts: vast expanse of rainforest lost in 2018
Millions of hectares of pristine tropical rainforest were destroyed in 2018, with beef, chocolate and palm oil among the main causes. The forests store huge amounts of carbon and are teeming with wildlife, making their protection critical to stopping runaway climate change and halting a  sixth mass extinction. But deforestation is still on an upward trend, the researchers said. Although 2018 losses were lower than in 2016 and 2017, when dry conditions led to large fires, last year was the next worst since 2002, when such records began. Clearcutting of primary forest by loggers and cattle ranchers in Brazil dominated the destruction, including invasions into indigenous lands where uncontacted tribes live. Ghana and Ivory Coast  recorded the biggest percentage rises in rainforest destruction, driven by gold mining and cocoa farming. ( Guardian ) Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images
California water experts already fret the next dry year and still preach conservation
For the first time in 376 consecutive weeks, not 1 acre of California is in drought. Yet, even with all this wet news, local water manager still preach conservation and worry the drought will return next year and the year after. Water managers are concerned about groundwater, which have been severely over-drafted and have not returned to pre-drought levels. ( Mercury News)
Climate change was the engine that powered Hurricane Maria's devastating rains
Hurricane Maria was the rainiest storm known to have hit Puerto Rico, and climate change is partly to blame. Hurricane Maria dropped nearly a quarter of the island’s annual rainfall in just one day. The average amount of rain Maria dropped— about 15 inches — was 30 percent more than the previous record set by a tropical storm in 1985, and 66 percent more than the previous largest and costliest storm to ever hit the island, 1998's Hurricane Georges. The study found that a storm of Maria's rain magnitude is nearly five times more likely to occur today than in the 1950s. ( NPR) Photo: Carlos Giusti/AP
Here and now: These maps show how climate change has already transformed the Earth
Our planet is in the grip of rapid climate change. These maps show how much temperatures and sea levels have already risen in your location – over 1.3 C for the Sacramento region. ( Buzzfeed)
New EPA document tells communities to brace for climate change impacts
The EPA published a 150-page document with a straightforward message for coping with the fallout from natural disasters across the country: Start planning for the fact that climate change is going to make these catastrophes worse. ( Washington Post)
Tools & Resources
Regional Collaboratives for Climate Change – A State of the Art
The report details how Regional Climate Collaboratives operate, their impacts in a regional capacity, key successes thus far, as well as barriers and gaps in capacity. After careful analysis, the report also establishes a framework for the classification of RCC activity. ( ISC
Wildfires and Climate Change: California’s Energy Future
This report from Governor Newsom’s administration sets out steps the state must take to reduce the incidence and severity of wildfires, including the significant wildfire mitigation and resiliency efforts the Governor has already proposed. It renews the state’s commitment to clean energy. It outlines approaches to allocating responsibility for wildfire costs, actions to hold the state’s utilities accountable for their behavior, and potential changes to stabilize utilities to meet the energy needs of customers and the economy. ( Office of Governor Newsom)
Adapt to more wildfire in western North American forests as climate change
Prior responses to wildfire have aimed at resistance to wildfire and restoration of areas burned through fire suppression and fuels management. These strategies are inadequate to address a new era of western wildfires. In contrast, policies that promote adaptive resilience to wildfire, by which people and ecosystems adjust and reorganize in response to changing fire regimes to reduce future vulnerability, are needed. These strategies represent a shift in policy and management from restoring ecosystems based on historical baselines to adapting to changing fire regimes and from unsustainable defense of the wildland–urban interface to developing fire-adapted communities. We propose an approach that accepts wildfire as an inevitable catalyst of change and that promotes adaptive responses by ecosystems and residential communities to more warming and wildfire. ( PNAS)
Upcoming Opportunities
Job Opportunity: Climate & Energy Project Associate, Local Government Commission
The Local Government Commission (LGC) is a nonprofit organization fostering innovation in environmental sustainability, economic prosperity, and social equity. The 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 to be involved and build expertise in the rapidly evolving field of climate change mitigation and adaptation. ( LGC)
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. ( Link)
California For All - Emergency Preparedness Grants
Nine grants are available for the California For All Emergency Preparedness Campaign to deploy a network of volunteers and transform how Californians get ready for the next disaster. The joint campaign between California Volunteers and the Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) invests $50 million directly into the community to bolster local resiliency and connect one million diverse and vulnerable Californians to culturally and linguistically competent support. ( Apply here)
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 Emergency Solutions and Housing Program: $23 million to address homelessness
The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has $29 million available in second round of the California Emergency Solutions and Housing (CESH) program funding. The CESH program provides funds for a variety of activities to assist persons experiencing homelessness. Eligible activities include housing relocation and stabilization services, operating subsidies for permanent housing, flexible housing subsidy funds, operating support for emergency housing interventions, and systems support for homelessness services and housing delivery systems. Deadline: May 6, 2019, 5pm. ( HCD)
Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant
The Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) Program is a Federally-funded grant program that provides local and rural fire departments up to $20,000 to assist with minor firefighting, training, communications and safety equipment for their volunteer firefighters. The VFA Program is not intended for major equipment (fire engines, vehicles, etc.) or capital repairs. There is a 50/50 match requirement. Deadline: May 21, 2019. ( CalFire)
Recreation Economy for Rural Communities Planning Assistance Grant
This new planning assistance program will help communities develop strategies and an action plan to revitalize their Main Streets through outdoor recreation. By conserving forests and other natural lands and making them available for outdoor recreation, small towns can boost air and water quality, focus development downtown, create jobs, and offer new opportunities for people to connect with the natural world. Through this grant, a planning team will help communities bring together residents and other stakeholders to decide on strategies and an action plan to grow the local outdoor recreation economy. Participants will work together to identify a vision, goals, and specific actions to realize the locally set goals. Deadline: May 31, 2019, 11.50pm ET. ( EPA)
2019 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant
The Choice Neighborhoods program leverages significant public and private dollars to support locally driven strategies that address struggling neighborhoods with distressed public or HUD-assisted housing through a comprehensive approach to neighborhood transformation. The grant supports the development of comprehensive neighborhood revitalization plans which focus on directing resources to address three core goals: Housing, People and Neighborhood. Deadline: June 10. ( HUD)
Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation Program
The Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation Program funds projects that will mitigate the environmental impacts of transportation facilities. Approximately $6.7 million in awards will be funded. Applicants submitting the most competitive proposals will be invited to participate in the next level of the competitive process, anticipated in late summer or early fall 2019. First round applications due June 17, 2019. ( CNRA)
SolSmart 2019 City & County Challenge
As solar energy grows nationwide, local governments continue to play a significant role in its expansion through the adoption of local solar policies and programs. 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, 2019, through June 21, 2019. ( Learn more)
California Statewide Park Program
The Statewide Park Program competitive grants will create new parks and recreation opportunities in critically underserved communities across California. The current round of funding 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 501(c)3 nonprofits. Postmarked or hand-deliver applications by August 5th. ( SPP)
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. Final deadline: Friday, September 13. ( SGC)
SB 2: $123 million available for Housing Planning Grants
The Department of Housing and Community Development has $123 million available under the SB2 Planning Grants Program (PGP). The PGP will help local governments prepare, adopt, and implement plans that accelerate housing production; streamline the approval of housing development affordable to owner and renter households at all income levels; facilitate housing affordability, particularly for lower- and moderate-income households; and promote development consistent with the State Planning Priorities. Cities and counties that have a certified housing element and have completed either the 2017 or 2018 Annual Progress Report are eligible to receive grant funds ranging from $160,000 to $625,000 depending on the size of the jurisdiction. This a is a non-competitive, over-the-counter grant program that can fund a range of projects including targeted general plan updates, community plans and specific plans, zoning updates and by-right zoning for housing, streamlined environmental analyses, and process updates to streamline zoning. Applications will be accepted until November 30, 2019. ( HCD)
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
Webinar: Solar and energy efficiency: Resources to support local initiatives for low-to-moderate income communities
Tuesday, May 7, 11am PDT
Low-to-moderate income (LMI) communities face unique challenges when it comes to accessing energy efficiency solutions and solar energy. This webinar will serve as an educational resource for local governments interested in better understanding market barriers and expanding solar and energy efficiency deployment in low to moderate income communities. Participants will be able to explore and visualize data on how rooftop solar on LMI housing represents an opportunity to help modernize the U.S electric grid and advance energy affordability in low income communities. The webinar will also discuss financing options and incentives for solar development and energy efficiency in LMI communities and local-level approaches for combining energy efficiency and solar to benefit LMI households. (Register)
ARCCA Learning Session Webinar: Climate Ready Communities – Climate Resilience Support for California's Small- to Mid-sized Communities
Thursday, May 8, 10-11am
Small communities across California face both the impacts of the climate change crisis as well as technical and financial capacity constraints. Given current state mandates for adaptation planning, these constraints can leave local leaders feeling frustrated and helpless. But these communities do not have to go it alone. State and nonprofit entities already provide important climate science and resilience resources for local communities. This webinar will demonstrate the tools available through the Climate Ready Communities program. This program offers a comprehensive, do-it-yourself guide free of charge as well as a suite of complementary services that are affordably priced and available to communities that want to move through the program faster or find that they need specific assistance at points along the way. ( Register)
Training: Funding Greening the Fleet – Carbon Reductions Have Value
Thursday, May 9, 9am-1pm
California Automobile Museum, 2200 Front Street, Sacramento
This training from the Sacramento Clean Cities Coalition will help participants learn how to use available tools to quantify and develop fleet emission plans, use quantified reductions for grant applications, and gain the maximum benefit from measured emission reductions. ( Register)
10 Actions in 265 Days: A Collaborative Workshop
Tuesday, May 14, 12-1.30pm
Urban Hive, 1601 Alhambra Blvd, Sacramento
Last spring, the Engaged Scholarship, Engaged Learning Collaborative at UC Davis convened campus and community partners to explore ways to improve community-engaged research. One result of that effort was the creation of the Office of Public Scholarship and Engagement. We invite contributors to this effort and other interested individuals to provide additional guidance on priority activities that the Office of Public Scholarship and Engagement will pursue over the next year. These actions lay the foundation for a coordinated strategy to build and enhance collaborative public scholarship initiatives. ( Register)
Climate Change Adaptation: Challenges for California and the World
Wednesday, May 15, noon-1pm
UC Center Sacramento, Room LL3, 1130 K Street, Sacramento
Professor William Collins, UC Berkeley Kate Gordon, Director, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research. ( More info)
Cleaner Air Partnership Quarterly Luncheon – Regional Attitudes on the Environment
Friday, May 17, 11.30am-1.30pm
The California Endowment, 1414 K Street #100, Sacramento
At its second gathering of 2019, the Cleaner Air Partnership will debrief the Air Quality Team's federal advocacy efforts as part of the 2019 Capitol-to-Capitol program, and reveal findings from Valley Vision's forthcoming Environmental Poll, a scientific survey revealing residents' priorities for protecting our environment and addressing climate change. ( Register)
Sacramento Tree Foundation 2019 Greenprint Summit: Growing Neighborhood Leadership
Saturday, May 18, 9am-3pm
Betty Irene Moore Hall, UCD Sacramento Campus, 2750 48 th Street, Sacramento
Sacramento is known worldwide for being the City of Trees, but some neighborhoods have much better tree canopy than others. Does your neighborhood lack trees? Want to change that? Attend and learn how the Sacramento Tree Foundation's NeighborWoods initiative brings together people to make positive change in their communities. You'll get the chance to network with other community members who are passionate for improving their neighborhoods, and you'll go home with a toolkit for making positive change. ( Link)
Webinar: A new tool to calculate induced demand
Thursday, May 23, 10-11am
Attempts to address traffic congestion commonly rely on increasing roadway capacity, e.g. by building new roadways or adding lanes. But studies show that adding capacity is at best a temporary fix: adding capacity in congested areas actually increases network-wide vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by a nearly equivalent proportion within a few years, which reduces or negates any initial congestion relief. That increase in VMT is called “induced travel.” Methods of calculating project-level induced travel frequently vary and are often opaquely explained in transportation impact studies. Researchers developed a web-based induced VMT calculator to help with that. This webinar will give an overview of the induced travel concept; introduce the new induced VMT calculator; and provide from two California transportation planning and policy experts. ( Register)
Adaptation Clearinghouse Spring Series: Capital Region
Thursday, May 23, 1-2pm
The Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative and the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resilience Program is hosting a webinar on the Adaptation Clearinghouse for the Capital Region. This webinar will provide an opportunity for local stakeholders to learn about the Adaptation Clearinghouse, regionally relevant resources, and opportunities to integrate adaptation into other local planning efforts. Participants will also have the opportunity to provide recommendations on new resources and case studies to be featured on the Adaptation Clearinghouse. ( Register)
Best Practices for Effective Climate & Health Communication
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is continuing to host a webinar series on climate and health communications. Upcoming webinars will focus on how to use visual and content cues to convey key messages quickly in a cluttered media environment, identify new ways to frame key messages to increase the relevance to audiences outside public health circles, and how to use data points to tell a more powerful story. Register here: Creative Material Development: May 30; Ally Acquisition: June 20; Communicating Data for Maximum Impact: July 18.
Implications of the California Wildfires for Health, Communities, and Preparedness: A Workshop
June 4-5, Sacramento
California and other wildfire-prone western states have experienced a substantive increase in the number and intensity of wildfires in recent years. Wildfires and other similar disasters are particularly difficult for vulnerable communities. Disaster-related trauma adds to the health burden of people who experience a dangerous wildfire. Public service agencies that provide assistance to individuals in underserved communities that have experienced a wildfire are often not well-equipped to provide the appropriate assistance, and disaster response plans often do not address the unique needs of underserved populations. A collaborative public workshop will convene experts to address the aforementioned issues. ( Register)
The Business of Local Energy Symposium 2019
June 20-21, Irvine, California
Join Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) experts and leaders from across the state for a day-long Symposium on June 21 about accelerating California's local energy resource development via CCAs and sharing best practices in order to create more benefits for local communities. There will also be a pre-symposium workshop on June 20 discussing advanced risk management, accelerating electric vehicle adoption, and cutting edge CCA research. ( Register)
10 th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency (SEEC) Forum
June 26-27, Long Beach
The 10th Annual SEEC Forum will focus on empowering local governments and communities to implement impactful energy efficiency measures locally while helping meet the state’s ambitious climate and energy goals. To make real progress towards a decarbonized future, we must accelerate the pace of investment in, and deployment of, integrated energy efficiency strategies and more deeply engage underserved and disadvantaged communities. The SEEC Forum is offered at no-cost to California local government staff and officials, and provides valuable learning, sharing, and networking opportunities to help local governments save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their communities, and catalyze climate action. ( 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 .