Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
November 24, 2020
A biweekly newsletter of the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative
The Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative would like to thank all the members who attended our members meeting last week, and hope you enjoyed connecting with each other. We’d also like to wish everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday. Something to think about as you watch Netflix over the holiday: why haven’t we addressed climate change sufficiently in fiction and media?
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News
Wildfire risk: Are we building just to burn?
Placer County, Calif., is a postcard place of picturesque parks and trails, quaint towns and wineries, high-elevation lakes, and ski resorts in the Sierra Nevada. It also faces the nation's greatest wildfire risk, according to an analysis based on computer modeling. Much of the rising risk nationwide is attributable to development and population growth on the outer fringes of cities and in more remote areas, experts say. San Francisco-based analytics firm ClimateCheck, which conducted the analysis, finding that 17 counties in California, Utah, Idaho, and Washington state face the nation’s greatest fire risk. (Medium) Graphic: ClimateCheck
Largest dam removal project in US history
Four dams built to produce hydroelectricity along the Klamath River in Northern California will soon be taken down. The removal could restore crucial habitat for salmon and other migratory fish, and support the livelihood of the Yurok people, who have sustainably fished along the river for millennia. “These dam removal efforts are as much to remove the dams for the ecology and benefits of salmon restoration as they are to the wrongs that took place in this country for the last 150, 200 years against Native Americans,” says Frankie Myers, vice-chairperson of the Yurok tribe. (BBC) Photo: Dave Meurer
Wildfires can leave toxic drinking water behind - here's how to protect the public
Less than halfway through the 2020 wildfire season, fires are burning large swaths of the western U.S. As in previous years, these disasters have entered populated areas, damaging drinking water networks. Water systems have lost pressure, potentially sucking in pollutants, and several utilities are warning of possible and confirmed chemical contamination. Communities need to upgrade building codes to keep wildfires from causing widespread contamination of drinking water systems. They also need to act more aggressively to protect residents from possible toxic exposure immediately after fires. (Phys.org) Photo: Senior Airman Crystal Housman/U.S. Air
Is ecosystem change in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta outpacing the ability of science to keep up?
Radically transformed from its ancient origin as a vast tidal-influenced freshwater marsh, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem is in constant flux, influenced by factors within the estuary itself and the massive watersheds that drain though it into the Pacific Ocean. Lately, however, scientists say the rate of change has kicked into overdrive, fueled in part by climate change, and is limiting the ability of science and Delta water managers to keep up. The rapid pace of upheaval demands a new way of conducting science and managing water in the troubled estuary. (Water Education) Photo: California Department of Water Resources
Climate crisis: CO2 hits new record despite Covid-19 lockdowns
Climate-heating gases have reached record levels in the atmosphere despite the global lockdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the UN’s World Meteorological Organization has said. There is estimated to have been a cut in emissions of between 4.2% and 7.5% in 2020 due to the shutdown of travel and other activities. But the WMO said this was a “tiny blip” in the continuous buildup of greenhouse gases in the air caused by human activities, and less than the natural variation seen year to year. The monthly average CO2 for September at the benchmark station of Mauna Loa in Hawaii was 411.3ppm, up from 408.5ppm in September 2019. The WMO said there had been a “growth spurt” in the average CO2 level for the whole of 2019, rising by more than the average rate over the last decade. (Guardian) Photo: Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images
Blue-sky thinking: how cities can keep air clean after coronavirus
As city after city begins to emerge from lockdown, urban planners and environmental campaigners are grappling with how to keep the clean air and blue skies that have transformed our view of the world. Many urban dwellers have gazed in awe at their newly clean cities over the last few months. But three – Copenhagen, Oakland and Mexico City – are leading the way in making such transformations permanent. How? (Guardian) Photo: Alexander Spatari/Getty Images
Retrofitting homes, small businesses for clean energy appliances will stimulate economy and fight climate change
One straightforward idea that should be considered by the Governor’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery can put tens of thousands of Californians back to work and improve housing for cash-strapped residents in a way that will save them money every month, all while cleaning the air and fighting climate change. And it starts at home. A stimulus plan that electrifies the homes and apartments of low-income Californians as well as small businesses, will help fight climate change, create jobs, contribute to more affordable homes, improve public health and provide financial relief to the families and businesses who need it most. Making these upgrades could support about 100,000 jobs annually, according to research from the UCLA Luskin Center on Innovation, even after accounting for modest declines in gas industry employment by 2045. Over the course of 25 years, researchers have found that electrification will create eight times the number of jobs that will be phased out. With the right employment agreements, this will be steady, high-paying blue collar work. (Cal Matters) Illustration: iStock
Climate justice fund counters 'centuries of underinvestment'
Approved by voters in 2018, the Portland Clean Energy Fund (PCEF) is a first-of-its-kind climate action program that prioritizes people of color and those with low income. It charges a 1% tax on large retailers and should generate $40-60 million dollars a year for things like clean energy job training, weatherizing homes and adding rooftop solar panels. And it's all reserved for communities more likely to suffer from the effects of climate change — be it air pollution, extreme heat, or weather disasters. The fund will help address "centuries of underinvestment" in communities of color and those with low income. (NPR) Photo: Cassandra Profita/OPB
How Joe Biden plans to use executive powers to fight climate change
10 ways Biden plans to fight climate change, with or without Congress. (Vox)
Tools & Resources
The Online Adaptation Planning Guide is Live on ResilientCA.org!
The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research's Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program recently released its Online Adaptation Planning Guide on the updated Adaptation Clearinghouse! Users can use the Online Adaptation Planning Guide to view the new step-by-step guidance, compare decision support tools, and explore over 800 resources at ResilientCA.org. (APG)
Making racial equity real in research
The Greenlining Institute released a report on racial equity researchv. The report provides historical context on racism and exclusion in the research field, which still continues today, as well as challenges faced in advancing equitable research approaches for both community partners and researchers. The report offers suggestions for researchers, funders, and partners, and a stepwise process aimed at researchers who are committed to integrating racial equity and partnerships in their research projects. The report builds on the Strategic Growth Council’s 2019 Climate Change Research Symposium report and can be used to inform racially equitable research approaches in climate resilience research efforts. (Greenlining)
Upcoming Opportunities
SACOG Active Transportation Program Funding
The Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) is accepting applications for its Active Transportation Program Funding! SACOG will distribute $11.77 million to support sidewalks, bike lanes, trails, Safe Routes to School programs, and plans for walking and bicycling in the El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba Counties. Please submit project proposals by 4pm, December 3, 2020. (SACOG)
Partners Advancing Climate Equity (PACE)
Partners Advancing Climate Equity (PACE) is a new capacity-building program for frontline community leaders from across California to connect with peers and take their skills and projects to the next level. Ultimately, PACE aims to help community leaders create equitable climate solutions at the pace and scale demanded by climate change and ongoing injustices. PACE will bring together a cohort of 20 community leaders for a yearlong program centered around a train-the-facilitator approach. In Phase 1, participants will engage in a series of virtual workshops and activities to build critical skills and capacity. Phase 2 will provide technical assistance and targeted project development support to help community leaders advance their vision for climate resilience and social equity. The program will be offered in both English and Spanish and cohort participants will receive a stipend of up to $8,000. Deadline: Thursday, December 3, 5pm. (PACE)
ZEV Market Development Strategy Draft
As a follow up to Governor Newsom’s zero emission vehicle (ZEV) Executive Order N-79-20, GO-Biz is pleased to share the draft ZEV Market Development Strategy for review and feedback. You can download a copy of the draft document here. Feedback should be sent by end of day December 4th, ideally as comments or suggested track changes within the Word document, and emailed to zev@gobiz.ca.gov.
Park Development and Community Revitalization Program (Prop 68)
This program is designed to create new parks, expand, or improve existing parks, to increase park access in under-served communities throughout California. Projects in economically disadvantaged communities with a lack of parks are prioritized. Parks designed with community residents' ideas through community-based planning and partnerships with health organizations are encouraged. Deadline: December 14, 2020 at 11:59 pm PST. (Link)
WaterNow Project Accelerator: Hands-on support to accelerate your sustainable water program
WaterNow is accepting applications for its next round of Project Accelerator. Project Accelerator provides cities, water agencies, and other organizations with pro-bono support to jumpstart a sustainable water project. This generates immediate wins for participating projects and builds a library of replicable, scalable solutions for more widespread adoption. Selected Project Accelerators receive up to 250 hours of professional support in six months, valued at $25,000 each. Deadline: December 14. (WaterNow)
Apply now for Community Composting Hub Funding
The Community Alliance for Community Composting (CACC) is now accepting project site applications. CACC received the Community Composting for Green Spaces grant from CalRecycle to launch a network of community compost sites across the state in six regions, including Sacramento & Northern California. CACC will accept applications on a rolling basis, with a priority deadline of November 24, and a secondary deadline of December 15. (CACC)
Apply Now: American Climate Leadership Awards 2021!
The American Climate Leadership Awards 2021, hosted by ecoAmerica, recognizes, rewards, and shares best practices on climate change advocacy and action in America. We are proud to offer money, support, and national recognition to climate leaders and organizations building political resolve for climate action at local, regional, and national levels, particularly those who center diversity, inclusion, and justice in their work. Deadline: December 15. (ACLA)
Call for Statements of Interest for Tribal Climate Adaptation Research Projects
The Northwest and Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Centers (NW CASC, SW CASC) invite statements of interest for tribal climate adaptation research projects to be initiated in Federal Fiscal Year 2021. The SW CASC is requesting statements of interest that specifically draw upon the application of traditional methods of ecosystem restoration and natural resource management, with special emphasis on fire in the context of climate change and adaptation. These projects can be used as seed funding in preparation for subsequent calls for proposals or focus on developing a process for implementing traditional practices and/or building bridges between western (conventional) and indigenous practices. Deadline: December 17. (SW CASC)
Public Review Period for Draft Update to Fire Hazard Planning Technical Advisory
The Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR) released a draft update to its Fire Hazard Planning Technical Advisory for public comment. OPR encourages all interested parties to submit comments on the draft through OPR's Public Comment Submission Form by December 18. (OPR)
National League of Cities 2021 Leadership in Community Resilience
The National League of Cities 2021 Leadership in Community Resilience program is accepting proposals from cities seeking additional funding for resilience-related projects. Each city selected for the 2020 cohort will receive $10,000 in financial support, and customized support from both NLC and the Resilient Cities Network. Deadline: December 23, 2020. (NLC)
FEMA Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program
The Federal Emergency Management Agency will reward states and communities that seek to address the effects of climate change under a new grant program that provides an unprecedented amount of money for resilience projects and planning. FEMA will allocate $500 million through its Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program for mitigation efforts such as moving buildings out of floodplains and strengthening building codes. BRIC places an emphasis on addressing the effects of climate change; strengthening building codes; and using natural barriers such as wetlands, floodplains and reefs to build resilience to riverine flooding and sea-level rise. Local governments must apply as sub-applicants. Deadline: January 29, 2021. (FEMA)
FEMA Flood Mitigation Assistance Program
The Flood Mitigation Assistance Program is a competitive grant program that provides funding to states, local communities, federally-recognized tribes and territories. Funds can be used for projects that reduce or eliminate the risk of repetitive flood damage to buildings insured by the National Flood Insurance Program. $160 million is available through this program for the following: Project Scoping, Community Flood Mitigation Projects, Technical Assistance, Flood Hazard Mitigation Planning, and Individual Flood Mitigation Projects. Deadline: January 29, 2021. (FEMA)
Prop 68 Sierra Nevada Grant Programs
The Sierra Nevada Conservancy issues grants to public agencies, nonprofits, and eligible tribes for projects that restore, protect, and enhance Sierra Nevada watersheds and communities. These grants are awarded under three separate programs: Forest & Watershed Health, Resilient Sierra Nevada Communities, and Vibrant Recreation & Tourism. Beginning July 2020, prospective applicants are invited to submit concept proposals, which are reviewed on a quarterly basis. Up to $5 million from Proposition 68 funds are available for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 funding cycles. More information is available on the Conservancy website. (SNC)
Clean Cars 4 All (CC4A) now accepting applications!
The CC4A program delivers electric vehicle incentives to eligible residents and is funded by Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund/California Climate Investment dollars administered by the California Air Resource Board. Up to $9,500 is available for income-qualified residents to retire their older vehicles and replace them with new or used, zero or partial-zero emissions vehicles, and the incentives can be combined with Clean Vehicle Rebate Project funds. (CC4A)
Clean Mobility Options Voucher Pilot: Applications Open
The Clean Mobility Options Voucher Pilot provides funding for the design and implementation of clean mobility projects in California's historically underserved communities. $20 million is available in 2020 for two types of projects: 1) the Community Transportation Needs Assessment Vouchers help communities to engage residents to identify their biggest transportation needs; and 2) Mobility Project Vouchers fund the implementation of projects that increase access to transportation, designed with community priorities at the forefront. (Link)
Upcoming Events
Exploring California Climate Change Connections (What Science Knows) Virtual Workshop
December 2 and 3, 2020
Please join us in a virtual workshop to explore the latest scientific evidence for the interconnectedness of climate change and its impacts. CalEPA's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment is convening this workshop, which will feature presentations from leading researchers and representatives of tribes and community organizations. The goals of the workshop are to better understand how the various manifestations of climate change and their impacts interact in ways that create previously unrecognized risks, or magnify known risks to humans and the environment; to collect scientific information on the linkages between the changes in climate and their cascading impacts for incorporation into the next indicator report; and to identify additional climate-related issues to track using indicators (OEHHA)
Webinar: Community Energy Resilience Planning for Local Governments
Wednesday, December 2, 11am-12pm
Another record-breaking fire season and associated power outages have brought to the forefront the need to enhance community energy resilience and push toward deeper decarbonization in an equitable and cost-effective way. The Climate Center, in collaboration with Community Energy Labs, SmartBlock Communities, and the Local Government Commission, is planning a webinar to present a toolkit and wraparound support to help communities take action to achieve resiliency and decarbonization goals. We will solicit feedback from local elected officials and community members on the kinds of technical assistance, policy, support and financing necessary to advance safe and resilient community energy plans for all California communities. (Register)
Sacramento County Environmental Justice Implementation Webinar
Wednesday, December 2, 6pm
Sacramento County staff will provide information on implementing the Environmental Justice Element over the past year. There will also be an opportunity for stakeholders to inform the County of their desired priorities for the next year. (Join online)
California Fire Science Seminar Series
Thursdays, December 3, 10, and 17, 3-4pm
From September through December, this UC Berkeley Fire Research Group seminar series covers the breadth of wildland fire research relevant to California. Upcoming topics include: Damage inspection and research implications on the California structure ignition problem (December 3); household decision making and evacuation behavior during wildfires (December 10); and satellite and airborne observations of fire characteristics and smoke emissions and their impacts on wildfire management strategies. (Register)
Introduction to the Healthy Mobility Options Tool
Monday, December 7, 2020, 9-9.30am PT
The Healthy Mobility Options Tool is a planning tool that quantitatively answers the question of “How much benefit or harm to human health can we expect by changing the mix of active and motorized travel across a county, region, or the entire state?” It is a new, user-friendly web-based version of the California Integrated Transport and Health Impact Model (ITHIM). In California, ITHIM has been used to assess the health impacts of regional transportation plans, goals of state and local agencies, and city and regional transportation projects. In this session, you will learn what the tool is and examples of use cases. There will be a short live demo of the tool, including the equity modules that give income-level and race-specific results. (Register)
California Climate Investments Webinar: Local Governments
Wednesday, December 9, 1.30-2.30pm
California Climate Investments will host a series of webinars where grantees and agency staff will share pathways to success and resources available to help you receive funding for your sustainability project. Webinars will be tailored to specific target audiences with information about funding opportunities and helpful tips. (CCI)
Critical Transportation Issues in Wildfires
Thursday, December 10, 12.00-1.00pm
This webinar will address critical issues related to wildfires and transportation via two research projects from the UC Institute of Transportation Studies on wildfire evacuations and post-wildfire debris flow. In both cases, transportation and its associated infrastructure play a pivotal role in ensuring safe and viable travel. The research projects will also be briefly framed within the current COVID-19 pandemic context. Researchers will offer key transportation, communication, and infrastructure strategies and recommendations for government agencies to prepare for, respond to, and recover from wildfires. (Register)
CAP Luncheon: Local Air Quality and Climate Efforts
Friday, December 11, 12pm
Join us on December 11th to hear updates on local efforts to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions, featuring leaders involved in Community Air Protection projects and the Mayors' Commission on Climate Change. (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.