Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
November 14, 2017
A biweekly newsletter of the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative
Forest conservation and expansion are considered effective low-cost mechanisms for carbon sequestration, and at COP23,   many nations have prioritized forest landscape restoration through the Bonn Challenge and in their nationally determined contributions to the Paris Agreement. In addition to trees, nearly half the carbon in most habitats are below-ground in the soil as roots, organic material and soil organisms. The California Department of Food and Agriculture recently released a request for proposals for the Consideration of New Management Practices for Funding through the Health Soils Program. Join us for our final quarterly member meeting of 2017, taking place Wednesday, December 13th at UC Davis, to learn more about carbon farming, bio-sequestration, and co-benefits for adaptation!
Will we be 'wiped out?' - how climate change is affecting California
Photo: Ringo H.W. Chiu/AP
"The threat is profound. It will alter human civilization. It's not just decades away. It's closer than you think," said Governor Jerry Brown to scientists and leaders in Europe before COP23. California is already experiencing a myriad of climate change effects, including extreme heat. Kathleen Ave, the 2017 Chair of CRCRC highlights how "our summer will feel like Tucson if we don't make changes." ( SacBee)
Climate change Is happening in the US now, says Federal report
Climate change's impacts are already felt across the US, according to the   newest volume of the National Climate Assessment. The exhaustive report, written by scientists and released Friday by 13 federal agencies, also clearly states that humans have directly contributed to the warming of the globe. Globally, surface air temperatures have increased by roughly 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit over the last 115 years. This article summarizes the report's major findings for extreme heat - the US is now the hottest it's been in the past 1,500 years - extreme weather, drought, wildfires, sea-level rise, and more. ( Link)
New analysis suggests GHG emissions may have already peaked in 49 countries
Research from the World Resources Institute suggests that countries representing around 36% of global emissions, including the US and much of Europe, have already reached peak global emissions. Another 8 countries representing 23% of global emissions, including China, have commitments to peak their emissions in the next decade. This raises hopes that some of the worst potential warming scenarios might be avoided, but without additional reductions, global GHG emissions would stay flat, risking 3C of warming. To have a good chance of avoiding 2C warming, global emissions need to peak in the next few years and decline very rapidly thereafter. Note that the analysis focuses on anthropogenic emissions and does not account for positive feedback mechanisms such as permafrost melt or negative emissions through afforestation and land management changes. ( Link)
Climate change is already affecting public health worldwide
Photo: Gonzalo Fuentes / Reuters
Climate change is already afflicting human health worldwide, exposing tens of millions of elderly people to excess heat, according to an expansive new synthesis from The Lancet that will be updated annually. The report finds that the effects of climate change have already become a reality in many places. Though its analysis translating heat impacts into labor productivity have been criticized, its other health-based findings are widely accepted. Today, roughly 175 million additional people over 65 are exposed to excess heat in 2015 as compared to several decades ago. In addition to killing people directly via heat stroke, extended heat periods have other effects such as sleep disruption, triggering violence and self-harm, and occupational injuries. A separate report focusing on the US finds longer allergies seasons, a tripling of Lyme disease cases between 1990 and 2016, and more effective dengue fever transmission. (  The Atlantic)
Another deadly consequence of climate change: The spread of dangerous diseases
Photo: Ahmed Jallanzo/European Pressphoto Agency
One potentially deadly impact of climate change has been little discussed: an increase in the spread of dangerous epidemics and the risk of a global pandemic. Changes in where and how humans live increase the risk that deadly diseases will emerge and spread more rapidly. A less appreciated, interaction between climate change and epidemics occurs when humans and animals are forced to compete for dwindling habitat and resources. The scenario behind Ebola's rise and global threat in 2014 illustrates this point, as West African bats were forced to hunt for food nearer to humans. Humans, likewise pressed by climate impacts, encroach more closely on animal habitats. While we cannot know that climate change was the cause of the specific interaction between bats and humans that is believed to have launched the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, we will see more of these interactions in the future, and more epidemics as a result. As climate change accelerates the movement of people, the risks of disease formation and transmission will multiply. Global coordination, integrating climate trends, and using data to build early warning systems. ( Washington Post)
Health insurers are ill-prepared to handle climate health impacts
Health insurers face potentially significant risk exposures to climate health impacts, according to a report by Ceres, a non-profit advocating for business sustainability leadership. Ceres notes that no health insurers indicated in their disclosures that they are holistically considering climate risk across their business lines and investments. The report also said, "A surprisingly large number of health insurers indicated a lack of understanding of and/or disregard for the materiality of climate change risks to their business interests and policyholders, especially in regard to health-related impacts." Ceres also found that 89% of health insurers surveyed were poor in disclosing their climate risks. ( Link)
Climate change could decrease Sun's ability to disinfect lakes, coastal waters
Photo: Photo courtesy Andrew Tucker
One of the largely unanticipated impacts of climate change may be a decline in sunlight's ability to disinfect lakes, rivers, and coastal waters, possibly leading to an increase in waterborne pathogens and associated diseases. A new study found that an increase in dissolved organic matter in waterways - which increases with extreme rainfall and run-off - will decrease the potential for UV radiation from the Sun to kill pathogens in the water. By blocking the penetration of sunlight, the organic matter could decrease the ability of sunlight to disinfect water by a factor of 10. This also makes it more difficult for water treatment plants to work effectively. The study reveals possible challenges for drinking water facilities, fisheries, water supply managers, and public health workers. In the US, 12 to 19 million people already become ill from waterborne pathogens annually. ( Link)
Breathing fire: How forest fires are worsening air quality in the American West
The increasing frequency of large wildfires in the western US is undermining progress made in air quality improvements over the last 40 years. Nine times more western forests are burning in large fires each year now than 30 years ago. The blazes create smoke waves that can trigger short-term ailments, worsen chronic diseases, and lead to long-term damage, including cancer. Symptoms related to smoke waves may not be diagnosed right away, making it hard to recognize the role of wildfire in a death or illness. Prescribed burns help to reduce fire risk while reducing forests lost, air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. In January, California released an ambitious draft plan to restore forests over the decades to come - through a focus on prescribed burns - with the goal of reducing pollution from wildfires. By 2020, the plan seeks to double the amount of land treated using prescribed burns to 35,000 acres a year. ( Climate Central)
"Dust Bowl-ification" of US Southwest leads to 8-fold jump in Valley Fever
Photo: AP/Mark Evans
The Valley Fever infection rate in the Southwest US has gone up a stunning 800 percent from 2000 to 2011, as dust storms have more than doubled. New research directly links the rise in Valley Fever to the rise in dust storms, which in turn is driven by climate change. Valley Fever, a fungal lung infection with potentially devastating consequences, is caused by inhaling soil-dwelling fungus. When the soil dries out and turns to dust, the fungus can become airborne through dust storms. A 2016 study found that the semi-arid Southwest has begun to enter a "drier climate state," which matches findings from a 2015 study documenting an expansion of the entire world's dry and semi-arid climate regions in recent decades as a result of human-caused climate change. ( Link)
The seven megatrends that could beat global warming.
Photo: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
A series of fast-moving global megatrends, spurred by trillion-dollar investments, indicates that humanity might be able to avert the worst impacts of global warming. From trends already at full steam, including renewable energy, to those just now hitting the big time, such as mass-market electric cars, to those just emerging, such as plant-based alternatives to meat, these trends show that greenhouse gas emissions can be halted. No one is saying the battle to avert catastrophic climate change - floods, droughts, famine, mass migrations - has been won. But these megatrends show the battle has not yet been lost, and that the tide is turning in the right direction. The most advanced of the megatrends is the renewable energy revolution. Production costs for solar panels and wind turbines have plunged, by 90% in the past decade for solar, for example, and are continuing to fall. As a result, in many parts of the world they are already the cheapest electricity available and installation is soaring: two-thirds of all new power in 2016 was renewable. ( Guardian)
Highlighting Local Solutions
City of Sacramento announces $500,000 in Creative Economy awards
Mayor Steinberg and members of the Sacramento City Council announced 57 recipients of grants and microgrants through the City's Creative Economy Pilot Project, supporting arts and culture projects in every City Council district. The Creative Economy Pilot Project focuses around building a place-based neighborhood ecosystem around food, tech, and art, making Sacramento a place for experimentation, and empowering individual creators, makers, and entrepreneurs. See all the recipients here. ( Link)
Denver voters approve grassroots green roof mandate
Voters in Denver approved a community-initiated ballot measure for the most ambitious, far-reaching green roof mandate in the nation. The new requirements will mandate that new buildings with at least 25,000 square feet of gross foot area incorporate rooftop gardens, potentially in combination with solar panels. The requirements would also apply to roof replacements for existing buildings that meet the size threshold, or when existing buildings undergo additions that push them above the size threshold. Residential buildings four stories or less would be exempted. The mandate was opposed by the real estate industry, who outspent the green roof campaigners 12 to 1. According to one study, Denver has the third-largest urban heat island effect among US cities. ( Link )
Tools and Resources
SB 1000 Implementation Toolkit
The SB 1000 Implementation Toolkit, prepared collaboratively by California Environmental Justice Alliance and PlaceWorks Inc., is a guidance document intended for local governments, planners, community-based organizations, and other stakeholders who will be working to develop an Environmental Justice Element or a set of environmental justice policies for their General Plans to meet the requirements of SB 1000. ( CEJA)
Report: Improving the Health of California's Headwater Forests
This report proposes new approaches for forest management as well as changes in state law and public attitudes, including prescribed burning and mechanical thinning that have resulted from decades of fire suppression which have increased the density of trees and other fuels in headwater forests to uncharacteristically high levels and resulted in massive tree die-offs and large, severe wildfires. ( Link)
Interactive map from the Forest Service to support conservation planning
A new interactive map from the Forest Service can help improve conservation planning by highlighting land that's already conserved. The map shows land conserved via the Forest Legacy program, other federal agencies, and state and private partners. This can make it easy to see how lands proposed for conservation connect with other already-conserved properties and help better prioritize future projects. Base layers also show other data such as bird areas and wild and scenic rivers, which allows users to create their own maps. The tool also allows users to search the web and incorporate other data layers. ( Link)
Upcoming Opportunities
Solar Training Program for Cities and Counties
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, in support of the Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative, is offering a no-cost solar photovoltaic training program for 50 cities and counties seeking to go solar on their facilities (both buildings and land). The application takes 30 minutes to complete and is due November 17. ( Link)
Transformative Climate Communities Program: Planning Grants
The Strategic Growth Council is now accepting applications for Planning Grants to fund planning activities in disadvantaged communities that may be eligible for future Transformative Climate Communities Implementation Grants. Deadline: November 30, 2017. ( Link)
Provide input on the California State Rail Plan
Caltrans has released the public draft of the California State Rail Plan, which outlines a new framework for California's rail network. The Rail Plan sets the stage for new and better rail, and multimodal and community connections in the state for the next 20 years and beyond. The Department is seeking public input throughout the planning process to understand the public's priorities for passenger and freight rail. Deadline: December 11, 2017. ( Link)
Hazard Mitigation Grant Program - Planning Subapplications for 2017 Winter Storms
The California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) invites Planning Subapplications for Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding that is available as the result of Presidential Disaster Declarations (DR-4301, DR-4305 and DR4308) for the severe winter storms, flooding, and mudslides that affected California in 2017. All counties of the SACOG region are eligible. Planning activities that reduce the effects of future natural disasters are eligible for this funding. Eligible subapplicants include state agencies, local governments, special districts, and some private non-profits. Deadline: January 1, 2018. ( Link)
Third round of Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities funding now open
The California Department of Housing and Community Development in partnership with the Strategic Growth Council is pleased to announce the availability of approximately $255 million in funding for the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) Program. Deadline: 11:59 p.m. PST on Tuesday, January 16, 2018. ( Link)
Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program 2018 Request for Proposals
The Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration grant program seeks to develop community capacity to sustain local natural resources for future generations by providing modest financial assistance to diverse local partnerships focused on improving water quality, watersheds and the species and habitats they support. The Five Star and Urban Waters program will award approximately $2 million in grants nationwide. Full Proposals due January 31, 2018. ( Link)
Upcoming Events
Cap-and-Trade Funding Workshop
Tuesday, November 14, 1:00-4:00 PM
Barbara Walckford Community Center, 9014 Bruceville Road, Elk Grove, CA
Join Assemblymember Jim Cooper for a discussion with state agency representatives to learn more about California Climate Investment Programs and ways to put those dollars to work in your communities.
Permeable Pavement Roadmap Workshop
Tuesday, November 14, 1:00-5:00 PM
Odd Fellows Hall, 415 2nd Street, Davis, CA
This workshop goal is identifying knowledge, information, and communication barriers to adoption of permeable pavement of all types. The workshop also seeks to bring together the stormwater and pavement communities to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the gaps in knowledge, processes and guidance. Thinking about permeable pavement and stormwater in light of climate change projections is also on the table. ( Register)
EPA Water Research Webinar: National Stormwater Calculator
Wednesday, November 15, 11am
EPA's National Stormwater Calculator is a software application that estimates the annual amount of rainwater and frequency of runoff from a specific site. This webinar will introduce the newest features of the Calculator, which is now available as a mobile app for smartphones and tablets. EPA has also added a cost estimation module that allows planners and managers to evaluate green infrastructure practices based on comparison of regional and national project planning level cost estimates and predicted performance. ( Register)
Transforming Sacramento into an Urban Technology Lab
Wednesday, November 15, 2-5pm
Sacramento State University, Harper Alumni Center, 6000 J Street, Sacramento
Join the launch of the Sacramento Urban Technology Lab (SUTL), an initiative of the Mayor's Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. SUTL will transform Sacramento into a living laboratory to develop, test, deploy, replicate, and scale new technologies, products, and services that will accelerate quality of life improvements for all residents. ( Register)
AIA COTE & Living Future Collaborative: What Makes Sacramento Resilient?
Wednesday, November 15, 5.30-7.30pm
AIACV Gallery, 1400 S Street
A resilient city is one that has developed capacities to help absorb future shocks and stresses to its social, economic, and technical systems and infrastructures. Hosted by the American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment and the Living Future Collaborative, this event will feature presentations and discussions on LA's collaborations for resilience, a new certification for resilient cities based on systems and pattern thinking, and the latest from the US Green Building Council LEED on resilient design. ( Register)
Report Card 2007-2017: What does it means for 2017-2027
Friday, November 17, 8.30-10.30am
West Sacramento Community Center, 1075 West Capitol Avenue, West Sacramento
How has the Sacramento Region made progress on sustainability, climate change, and smart growth over the last 10 years? This session will retrospectively examine what we've learned in the last ten years, and how these lessons can inform the planning profession in the next year. We've promoted smart growth principles, the Blueprint, sustainable practices and climate action. We've experienced the great recession and a severe drought. We're dealing with signifi­cant changes at the national level and assessing what it means for Sacramento and California. What have we learned and how can we apply lessons learned to the future? ( Link)
Strategic Growth Council: Provide input on new Climate Change Research Program
Friday, November 17, 11am-12pm
The Strategic Growth Council (SGC) will create a new Climate Change Research Program. A   draft research investment plan, to be released on November 15, will describe how the SGC plans to direct $11 million in competitive grant funding. Please join this webinar or an in-person workshop to learn about the new program and inform its development. Or send written comments deadline to by December 1, 2017. ( Register)
Local Clean Energy Alliance: Clean Power, Healthy Communities 2017
Friday, November 17, 9am-5pm
Oakland Asian Cultural Center, 388 9th St, Oakland
The Local Clean Energy Alliance's 6th Clean Power, Healthy Communities Conference will explore strategies and programs for advancing a local clean energy transition in the Bay Area and beyond. The conference will take up a range of topics, from national policy frameworks to local community projects. The conference program will feature afternoon breakout sessions on how community-based energy can empower communities, address community needs, and advance community resilience in the face of climate change, with special focus on the Bay Area's newest, groundbreaking Community Choice energy program, East Bay Community Energy. On Thursday, the Local Clean Energy Alliance will hold a fundraiser celebration of its 10th anniversary and book publication. ( Link)
SMUD Living Future Project Accelerator
November 30, 1-6pm
SMUD invites members of the development community to participate in the SMUD Living Future Project Accelerator, which supports local projects to help them achieve certification under the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) Living Building Challenge and Zero Energy Certifications. This framework applies to both new and existing commercial and residential buildings. The goal is to activate more ILFI projects in the region and assist them in moving from concept to certification. The program will kick-off with a series of educational events and tours of leading-edge buildings in the region. In addition, the Project Accelerator will include engagement, technical assistance, and expert coaching; financial assistance with certification fees and documentation; and development of Living Future roadmaps for building types most relevant to the Capital Region. ( Link)
Fourth National Climate Assessment and Outcomes from COP 23
November 30, 10:15-11:45 AM
November is a big month for climate science. Please join the National Council for Science and the Environment and Second Nature for a rich discussion about the recent release of the Fourth National Climate Assessment and the outcomes from the international climate meetings in Bonn - UNFCCC COP 23. NCSE Executive Director Michelle Wyman will facilitate the discussion between NCSE Senior Fellow Kathy Jacobs and Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, Climate Scientist, as they review the high points of the report and the draft of the second volume. Thereafter, Second Nature President Tim Carter will provide a first-hand summary of the events and outcomes during the UNFCCC COP 23 meetings held in Bonn, Germany. ( Register)
ARCCA Learning Session Series: Toward Equitable Adaptation
Wednesday, December 6, 11am-12pm
Join us for the first webinar of ARCCA's Learning Session series on integrating justice and equity into climate adaptation. This webinar will provide an overview of key climate justice and equity concepts, considerations, and strategies, and highlight the Climate Justice Working Group's (CJWG) recommendations for including frontline communities in policy and funding decisions. Convened by Resources Legacy Fund, the CJWG is comprised of health equity and climate equity leaders from across California who are working together to ensure that the state addresses the needs of frontline communities in their adaptation plans. Its members developed recommendations to make Safeguarding California responsive to climate justice and climate equity concerns. In addition, the CJWG developed definitions of key concepts, including climate justice and climate vulnerability, as well as guiding principles and recommendations for California leaders to consider as they develop climate adaptation policies and funding decisions. ( Register)
Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative Quarterly Meeting
Wednesday, December 13, 2-5pm
UC Davis International Center, Conference Rm 3119, 463 California Ave, Davis
The Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative is pleased to invite you to a quarterly networking meeting, focusing on carbon farming, bio-sequestration, and food security. Presenters will highlight how urban and rural communities are addressing climate impacts by implementing sustainable land management practices and adaptation response efforts. Participants will also have the opportunity to hear from CRC members and share their adaptation efforts. ( Register)
Preparing People for Climate Change in California
January 24-25, 2018  
Join the International Transformational Resilience Coalition for a conference on the urgency, methods, and benefits of applying psychological and psycho-social-spiritual models to build human resilience for climate adversities. From high levels of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), to financial struggles, racism and other forms of inequity, traumatic stress is epidemic today. Climate change will aggravate all of these existing adversities, and add many new ones as well. This conference will show how California can lead the nation in building widespread levels of personal and psycho-social-spiritual resilience for the hardships generated by rising temperatures and produce multiple benefits for individuals, families, communities, and our planet's climate. Early-bird discount rate ends October 15, 2017. ( Link)
Registration now open for New Partners for Smart Growth
February 1-3, 2018, San Francisco, CA
Registration is now open for the 17th annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in San Francisco. Eight thematic tracks include "One Water" for Resilient Communities, Adapting to a Changing Climate, and Building Capacity in Small Towns and Rural Communities, while the themes of smart growth and equity are woven throughout the program. ( NPSG)
Save the date for the 3rd California Adaptation Forum
August 28-29, 2018, Sacramento, CA
Join the Local Government Commission and the State of California at the 3rd California Adaptation Forum taking place August 28-29 (with pre-forum workshops on August 27), 2018, in Downtown Sacramento. The Forum gathers a multidisciplinary audience of 600+ climate leaders to foster knowledge exchange, innovation, and mutual support to transition from adaptation awareness to planning and action through a series of engaging plenaries, sessions, workshops, networking activities, and more. ( CAF)
About the Capital Region Climate  Readiness  Collaborative
The Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative is a membership based collaborative network designed to promote greater climate change resilience planning coordination in the six-county Sacramento Region. The purpose of this collaborative network is to create a forum where leaders from government, academia, environmental and community groups, the business community, and labor can come together to exchange information, identify vulnerabilities and data gaps, leverage resources, and advance comprehensive solutions in an effort to create stronger, sustainable, and economically viable communities in the Capital Region.

The CRC is a program of the Local Government Commission.