Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
May 30, 2019
A biweekly newsletter of the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative
Registration is now open for CRC's next quarterly workshop! This meeting will focus on managing our region's flood risk. Join us and register today!
Valley Vision unveils environmental and climate priorities of the Capital Region
Residents have spoken: the air we breathe, the water we drink, the natural places we treasure are some of the things we value most. The vast majority (88%) of our residents believe that humans have contributed to climate change, and a majority are calling for stepped up action from public institutions, companies, and all of us. Read the findings from Valley Vision's fourth public opinion survey, which uncovers opinions about air quality, open space, climate change and more to help our leaders make informed decisions. ( Valley Vision)
Why the Guardian is changing the language it uses about the environment
The Guardian has updated its style guide to introduce terms that more accurately describe the environmental crises facing the world. Instead of “climate change”, the preferred terms are “climate emergency, crisis or breakdown” and “global heating” is favoured over “global warming”, although the original terms are not banned. The update to the Guardian’s style guide follows the addition of the global carbon dioxide level to the Guardian’s daily weather pages. The Climate Reality Project is hosting a petition calling on US news networks to call the climate emergency what it is — and to cover it with the regularity, focus, and depth that an urgent, existential crisis merits. ( Guardian)
Anthropocene now: influential panel votes to recognize Earth’s new epoch
A panel of scientists voted to designate a new geologic epoch — the Anthropocene — to mark the profound ways in which humans have altered the planet. That decision, by the 34-member Anthropocene Working Group, marks an important step towards formally defining a new slice of the geologic record — an idea that has generated intense debate within the scientific community over the past few years. The panel plans to submit a formal proposal for the new epoch by 2021 to the International Commission on Stratigraphy, which oversees the official geologic time chart. Twenty-nine members supported the Anthropocene designation and voted in favour of starting the new epoch in the mid-twentieth century, when a rapidly rising human population accelerated the pace of industrial production, the use of agricultural chemicals and other human activities. At the same time, the first atomic-bomb blasts littered the globe with radioactive debris that became embedded in sediments and glacial ice, becoming part of the geologic record. ( Nature) Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty
US experiences wettest 12 months in recorded history and spike in flood alerts
April 2019 marked the wettest 12-month period in the continuous United States since record-keeping began 124 years ago, breaking the previous record set from May 2015–April 2016. The Lower 48 states received the most precipitation in any one year period from May 2018 through April 2019. In most places, by April it had already rained more than the annual average during the 20th century. This has led to more flooding: 71% of the 3,100 counties in the contiguous US experienced an above-average number of flood alerts in the same 12 month period compared to the previous 32 years. ( Union of Concerned Scientists) Photo: Staff Sgt. Herschel Talley/Nebraska National Guard
El Niño has rapidly become stronger and stranger, according to coral records
The pattern of El Niño has changed dramatically in recent years, according to the first seasonal record distinguishing different types of El Niño events over the last 400 years. A new category of El Niño, characterized by a warmer Central Pacific Ocean, has become far more prevalent in the last few decades. Meanwhile, traditional El Niño events have become more intense. Changes to El Niño will influence patterns of precipitation and temperature extremes in Australia, Southeast Asia and the Americas. ( The Conservation)
Melting permafrost in Arctic will have $70tn climate impact – study
The release of methane and carbon dioxide from thawing permafrost will accelerate global warming and add up to $70 billion to the world’s climate bill, according to the most advanced study yet of the economic consequences of a melting Arctic. If countries fail to improve on their Paris agreement commitments, this feedback mechanism, combined with a loss of heat-deflecting white ice, will cause a near 5% amplification of global warming and its associated costs, says the paper. These economic costs are 10 times higher than the projected benefits from a melting Arctic, such as easier navigation for ships and access to minerals. ( Guardian)
The true vulnerability of coastal California, revealed
A new study suggests that sea-level rise and flooding could surpass some of California’s worst natural disasters by the end of the century, damaging the coast in ways comparable to Hurricane Katrina or the 2011 Tōhoku tsunami. New research argues that sea level rise is a much greater threat than previously understood, with even a moderate rise causing severe economic impacts and threats to public safety. Sea-level rise of 9.8 inches (0.25 meters) would endanger more than $30 billion in property and more than 150,000 Californians during a strong storm. With 2 meters of sea level rise, extreme flooding will occur during even normal storms, destroying infrastructure, knocking out power and inundating neighborhoods. The sort of storms that hit every year could put more than $119 billion in property at risk. During an extreme storm, the potential damage becomes catastrophic, impacting $150 billion in property and 600,000 residents. ( HCN)
How the media can stop failing on climate change
In the run-up to 2020, as newsroom leaders grapple with their mistakes in the 2016 election – from reliance on inaccurate polls to underestimating the impact of fake news – the failure to press candidates on climate change is emerging as an area of self-examination. The Guardian, Columbia Journalism Review, and the Nation are jointly launching Covering Climate Change: A New Playbook for a 1.5-Degree World, a project aimed at dramatically improving US media coverage of the climate crisis. Major broadcast networks spent just 142 minutes on climate change last year, according to Media Matters. But climate coverage is not just a question of volume– it’s also a question of approach. We spoke to experts in the field for their advice on how news outlets should cover climate in ways that make voters listen during the 2020 race. ( Link) Photo: Shutterstock
Tools & Resources
SolSmart Issue Brief: Expanding Solar Participation Through Community Solar
This SolSmart Issue Brief describes the community solar model and highlights approaches for developing new projects. For more information watch SolSmart’s recent Community Solar webinar. ( SolSmart)
A Guide to Community Shared Solar: Utility, Private, and Nonpro­fit Project Development
This guide is a resource for those who want to develop community shared solar projects, from community organizers or solar energy advocates to government officials or utility managers. By exploring the range of incentives and policies while providing examples of operational community shared solar projects, this guide will help communities plan and implement successful energy projects. In addition, by highlighting some policy best practices, this guide suggests changes in the regulatory landscape that could significantly boost community shared solar installations across the nation. ( NREL)
Upcoming Opportunities
Health, Environment and Energy Webinar Series & Working Group Announcement
ACEEE is launching a new working group and webinar series to explore the intersection of health, environment, and energy. ACEEE’s Health & Environment team will facilitate working group discussions to share promising practices and case studies, with a goal of strengthening partnerships and facilitating peer exchange between professionals from both sectors. Participants will collaborate to develop a common language across the energy and health sectors, learn from examples of successful partnerships in program design and implementation, and engage in peer education. To join, please email JR Denson at The webinar series will highlight methods for documenting and quantifying the health effects of energy efficiency measures, opportunities for funding health and energy-linked programs, and more.
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. Applications will be accepted in waves. ( CivicSpark)
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)
Department of Conservation: Grants for land trusts and local and regional planning
The Department of Conservation (DOC) has released for public comment the draft Proposition 68 Working Lands and Riparian Corridors Program Guidelines and the first two solicitations. The land trust capacity and project development grant solicitation will build land trust and other agricultural non-profit capacity for agricultural land conservation activities. The local and regional planning grants will support the integration of natural and working lands, specifically agricultural lands, into local and regional planning documents. Grant applications are due July 31. Comments on the draft guidelines and solicitations are due to on Monday, May 20. DOC will also be hosting a workshop on Thursday, May 16, from 10am to 12pm. ( DOC)
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 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 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)
SMUD’s Shine Award: Projects to improve and revitalize neighborhoods
Do you have an idea for a project that will improve and revitalize our local neighborhoods? We’re inviting you to submit your project for consideration. Our Shine awards range from $5,000 to $100,000 and the selection process is highly competitive. While SMUD will consider a broad variety of potential projects, it is primarily interested in proposals within the following areas: neighborhood revitalization or clean up; STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math); environmental, energy efficiency, energy conservation or greenhouse gas reduction; and general beautification. Any nonprofit organization 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) within SMUD service territory is eligible to apply. Deadline: Monday, July 15. ( SMUD)
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)
USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Sustainable Agricultural Systems Grant
The USDA is taking applications for the FY 2019 Agriculture and Food Research Initiative – Sustainable Agricultural Systems program. Applications must focus on approaches that promote transformational changes in the U.S. food and agriculture system within the next 25 years. The program seeks creative and visionary applications that take a systems approach, and that will significantly improve the supply of abundant, affordable, safe, nutritious, and accessible food, while providing sustainable opportunities for expansion of the bioeconomy. These approaches must demonstrate current and future social, behavioral, economic, health, and environmental impacts. Deadline: Sept. 26. ( USDA)
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, innovative community-based projects that engage in community organizing to advocate for environmental health and justice; preserve and restore habitats supporting biological diversity; and prevent or remedy toxic pollution. The Foundation has an open Letter of Inquiry process for general support grants to grassroots organizations. ( Link)
Upcoming Events
Adaptation Clearinghouse Spring Series: Capital Region
Thursday, June 6, 10-11am
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)
Implications of the California Wildfires for Health, Communities, and Preparedness
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)
Tribal Climate & Health Adaptation Workshop
June 5-6, 2019
Pala Casino Conference Center, Pala, California
A comprehensive tribal climate change adaptation plan can help Native American tribal communities better understand, prepare for, and protect against climate change impacts. This 2-day, interactive training will provide steps, tools, templates, case studies, and other resources that seek to streamline the adaptation planning process and make it easier for tribal health and environmental professionals to understand and address human health exposures and impacts within tribal communities. ( Register)
It’s Resilience, Stupid! Presenting New Approaches to Urban Resilience
Thursday, June 6, 8am PDT
Resilience is the capacity of buildings and communities to recover quickly from disasters and disruptions of normal daily life. It is often confused with robustness, a concept at the heart of engineering design. In this webinar, we argue that robustness is not the sole driver of resilience and that the current engineering practice is insufficient to design for the resilience of buildings and communities subject to extreme wind events, earthquakes and so on. We present a suite of new approaches that explicitly target resilient building design. These tools are illustrated through a number of case studies of recent hurricane disasters including Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Michael. Videos of past webinars are archived to the CSHub YouTube channel. ( Register)
Meeting of the Commission on Catastrophic Wildfire Cost and Recovery
Friday, June 7, 10am
Sacramento City Hall Council Chambers, 915 I Street, 1st Floor, Sacramento
In response to the increasing threat of wildfires, Governor Brown signed into law SB 901, an extensive piece of legislation that helps to mitigate wildfire risk and increase the pace and scale of recovery efforts. As part of this legislation, The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research established a Commission on Catastrophic Wildfire Cost and Recovery to examine issues related to wildfires associated with utility infrastructure, and to produce recommendations on changes to law that would ensure equitable distribution of costs among affected parties. The recommendations are due to the Governor and the Legislature by July 1st, 2019. Please visit the website for meeting materials and agenda. The meeting will also be webcast. ( OPR)
California Climate Action Team – Public Health Workgroup Meeting
Monday, June 10, 1-3.30pm
Sierra Hearing Room, 2 nd floor, Cal/EPA Bldg, 1001 I Street, Sacramento
The next meeting will feature presentations and discussion on the public health impacts of wildfires and wildfire smoke in California. The CAT-PHWG addresses cross-cutting issues related to climate change and health, and provides a forum for communication, coordination, and education across agencies and with stakeholders. In person or register for webcast. ( ARB)
Connecting Public Health & Energy Efficiency
Tuesday, June 11, 8.30am-noon
Webinar or in-person at 375 Beale Street, San Francisco
Energy efficiency not only saves energy and money, but also creates healthier buildings by reducing pollution, improving indoor air quality, and protecting the climate. This half-day forum will explore the links between public health and energy efficiency, including how they relate to equity and climate change. Speakers will include Linda Rudolph, Director of the Center for Climate Change and Health and Will Dominie from the Bay Area Health Inequities Initiative. Attendees will also hear from local government staff who are implementing programs that bridge public health and energy efficiency. Also available as a webinar. ( Register)
Community Development Forum: Enhancing Collective Impact and Investment in Sacramento
Wednesday, June 12, 9am-noon
Shriners Hospital for Children, 2425 Stockton Blvd, Sacramento
You are invited to engage and collaborate with financial institutions, philanthropy, federal agencies and non-profit organizations to highlight investment and collective impact initiatives improving households in Sacramento. Participants will interact and collaborate to identify actionable strategies that will increase community investment in low- and moderate-income communities. ( Register)
Webinar: People with Disabilities in the Climate Emergency: Vulnerability & Adaptation
Wednesday, June 19, 11am-noon
People with disabilities (PWDs) are an intersectional population, with a range of disability types, that are present in every other group regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, or other identity. PWDs are also marginalized across social, economic, and environmental spheres – and especially in the many dangers of the climate emergency. This presentation will explain the vulnerabilities and dangers that the disability community faces, and adaptive actions we can take to protect their safety and well-being. ( 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.
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)
SMUD Shine Award information Session
Wednesday, June 26, and Tuesday, July 2, 11.30am-1.30pm,
SMUD Rubicon Room, 6301 S Street, Sacramento
Attend an information session to learn more about applying for SMUD’s Shine Award, a community development program that works to revitalize and improve neighborhoods. Awards range from $5,000 to $100,000 and the selection process is highly competitive. Any nonprofit organization 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) within SMUD service territory is eligible to apply. ( SMUD)
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 .