Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
October 18, 2018
A biweekly newsletter of the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative
Far from taking the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as a reason to despair, we should see it as an inspiration and a call to action. There is yet time to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius - and there is a world of difference between 1.5 degrees and 2 degrees.

Keeping the Earth's temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius means making rapid, unprecedented changes - within the next 10 years - in the way people use energy to eat, travel and live, but meeting the goal would have "clear benefits to people and natural ecosystems," says the report.
To halve GHG emissions by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050, countries need urgent, wide-scale deployment of renewable energy and zero-emissions transportation - not just autonomous and electric vehicles, but the proven solutions of public transportation, walking, biking, and urban planning.

Transportation emissions have grown faster than any other sector over the past half century, suggesting major challenges for deep decarbonisation. The UN report notes that even with driving electrification, a structural shift in how people get around will be necessary to meet the critical timeline to avoid 2C of global warming. While autonomous and electric vehicles may be more attractive to investors, public transportation systems have already been deployed successfully around the world, and can be significantly improved in the US. Just ask Salt Lake City, Utah, which quintupled its ridership by offering peak service frequencies of 6 minutes (and 10 minutes off-peak) - and free rides.
The difference between a 1.5 C and 2C world
Half a degree may not sound like much, but it may be the difference between a world with coral reefs and a world without. At current rates of warming, the world will likely cross the 1.5 degree threshold between 2030 and 2052, well within the lifetime of most adults and children alive today. And 1.5 degrees is a best-case scenario that requires substantial effort.

Here is a snapshot of some of the key differences between 1.5 and 2C of warming from the IPCC report.   The New York Times has a great infographic summarizing these changes, or you can dive into the IPCC Summary for Policymakers.
  • The proportion of the global population exposed to water stress could be 50% lower at 1.5C .
  • Global sea level rise would be 10cm lower by 2100, affecting 10 million fewer people
  • At 1.5C, 14% of the world's population would experience extreme heat events every 5 years, compared to 37% at 2C.
  • Food scarcity would be less of a problem and hundreds of millions fewer people, particularly in poor countries, would be at risk of climate-related poverty.
  • Arctic sea ice would remain during most summers if warming is kept to 1.5C. But at 2C, ice-free summers are 10 times more likely, leading to greater habitat losses for polar bears, whales, seals and sea birds.
  • Coral reefs would decline by 70-90% instead of being virtually eliminated at 2C.
  • Risk of extinction for insects, plants, and animals reduced by half in a 1.5C world.
  • Many of today's ecosystems will shift or disappear: 6% of insects, 8% of plants and 4% of vertebrates could lose half of their territory with even 1.5 degrees of warming; those numbers increase by two or three times in the case of 2 degrees.
We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe, warns UN
Photo: Ringo HW Chiu/AP
The world's leading climate scientists have warned there is only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people. The authors of the landmark IPCC report say urgent and unprecedented changes are needed to reach the target, which they say is affordable and feasible. To reach 1.5C, GHG emissions must be reduced by 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, and 100 percent by 2050. Bob Ward, of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change, said the final document was "incredibly conservative" because it did not mention the likely rise in climate-driven refugees or the danger of tipping points that could push the world on to an irreversible path of extreme warming. ( Guardian)
Clean up climate change? It's good for business
Photo: Rob Griffith/AP
If the world's largest companies live up to the promises they've made to slow climate change, together they could reduce emissions by an amount equal to those of Germany. The corporate pledges gained new attention after an ominous report was issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which said that government policies alone won't ensure the "unprecedented" societal changes needed over the next decade to stem climate change. To a greater extent than ever before, the best interest of many businesses and those of the planet are aligned. As Feike Sijbesma, chief executive of the Dutch multinational company Royal DSM, put it: "We need to future-proof ourselves." ( Washington Post)
Californians, step away from your cars
Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/ via Getty Images
If California approves Prop 6, drivers will suffer by giving up major repairs to some of the worst roads in the United States. The state's economy, the largest in the US and the fifth largest in the world, could also take a hit: infrastructure projects lead to construction jobs, while crumbling transportation infrastructure hurts productivity. And regional wealth and income disparities will deepen, as small towns and remote suburbs remain isolated from major employment centers. Most of the $5 billion in revenue is not for public transit: $1.8 billion goes to repairing state highways, and another $1.7 billion for rehabilitating local roads. About $750 million is earmarked for transit, with another $100 million going to projects meant to facilitate active transportation, such as walking and biking. ( NYT)
A 2018 Nobel winner created an invaluable tool for understanding climate change
On the heels of a bracing report from the top scientific body on global warming, two economists - William Nordhaus, 77, a professor of economics at Yale University, and Paul Romer, 62, an economics professor at the Stern School of Business at New York University - were awarded the 2018 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for their work on long-run macroeconomic analysis. Nordhaus is known for creating an assessment model that couples the physics of climate change to economic principles, allowing users to quantify their impacts on the planet as well as the planet's impacts on them. Integrated assessment models are the foundation of environmental economics and policy mechanisms such as the social cost of carbon and a carbon tax. ( Vox)
What does climate change really cost society? This lab is trying to find out
Photo: Jochen Tack/Alamy Stock Photo
The Climate Impact Lab is quantifying the social costs of climate change, both now and in the future, across a wide range of sectors. From the effects of heat on worker productivity to suicide surges following crop losses, the lab is tallying the damages that don't make the evening news. One example: when it's hotter than 20C, each degree increase in a single day means about 70 people kill themselves in India, totaling over 59,000 warming-related suicides in the last 30 years. ( Guardian)
Climate change will get worse. These investors are betting on it.
Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Bloomberg
As the U.S. grapples with a second straight year of record hurricanes, floods, and wildfires, a small but growing number of hedge funds, pension plans, and other investors are testing strategies to take advantage of those signs of climate change. Where they're putting their money provides a glimpse into some of the likely tangible impacts from higher temperatures. The investments include storm and flood protection, desalination plants, new approaches to agriculture, and inland land for when rising seas shift the real estate market. ( Bloomberg)
Plan to revive rivers pits San Francisco against California
A state plan to increase flows for Sierra Nevada rivers and restore habitats for wildlife has been mired in conflict and delays. And critical opposition is coming from an unexpected place: progressive San Francisco. Now, as the city water department works to defeat the Bay Delta Plan - pitting itself against environmental groups in an unlikely alliance with thirsty Central Valley farmers, as well as their backers in the Trump administration - some at City Hall have begun wondering if San Francisco is on the right side of California's latest water war. At issue is how much water should flow from the Sierra Nevada's many rivers to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, a vital ecological and water-supply hub. ( Link)
Huge reduction in meat-eating 'essential' to avoid climate breakdown
Composite: Getty Images
The most comprehensive analysis yet of the food system's impact on the environment, combining data from every country, warned that a massive reduction in meat-eating is needed to reduce GHG emissions. A global shift to a "flexitarian" diet was needed to keep climate change even under 2C, let alone 1.5C. This flexitarian diet means the average world citizen needs to eat 75% less beef, 90% less pork and half the number of eggs, while tripling consumption of beans and pulses and quadrupling nuts and seeds. This would halve emissions from livestock, and better management of manure would enable further cuts. In rich nations, the dietary changes required are ever more stark. US citizens need to cut beef by 90% and milk by 60% while increasing beans and pulses between four and six times. Reducing meat consumption might be achieved by a mix of education, taxes, subsidies for plant-based foods and changes to school and workplace menus. ( Nature)
Google's new tool to fight climate change
Image: Google
Google has started estimating GHG emissions for individual cities, part of what it recently described as an ambitious new plan to deploy its hoard of geographic information on the side of climate-concerned local leaders. As part of this initiative, Google says it will also release its proprietary estimates of a city's annual driving, biking, and transit ridership, generated from information collected by Google Maps and Waze. The company has never released this kind of aggregate transportation data to the public before, and it says it may share even more specific types of data with individual local governments. Google has framed the project, the Environmental Insights Explorer, as a way for leaders to focus and improve local climate programs. ( Atlantic)
Tools and Resources
In the Eye of the Storm: A People's Guide to Transforming Crisis & Advancing Equity in the Disaster Continuum
This guide developed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People discusses how low-income, communities of color, and other frontline communities are disproportionately affected by the effects of climate change, extreme weather, and other natural and human-caused disasters (like industrial accidents or chemical contamination). To address these disproportionate risks, the guide provides a framework for helping communities embed considerations of equity in all phases of emergency management: prevention, mitigation, preparedness, resilience building, recovery, and redevelopment. ( Link)
California's 2017 Forests and Rangelands Assessment
CalFire is required to produce periodic assessments of the forests and rangelands of California. The 2017 Assessment covers a broad range of topics across both private and public lands, including urban forestry, wildfire, climate change, etc. Each chapter includes a number of indicators that collectively are used to evaluate the sustainability of forest and rangelands. ( Link)
Upcoming Opportunities
Job Opportunity: Statewide Local Government Energy Efficiency Best Practices Coordinator
The Local Government Commission - in partnership with the Institute for Local Government and ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability through the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative - is recruiting to fill the Statewide Local Government Energy Efficiency Best Practices Coordinator position (Local Government Energy Coordinator). The Local Government Energy Coordinator's scope of work will be focused on assisting local governments to meet goals within the California Long-term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan. The Coordinator will work closely with the three statewide associations to support and increase the effectiveness of local government climate and energy efficiency activities. Priority deadline October 31. ( LGC)
SGC: Draft Transformative Climate Communities Program Evaluation Plan
The Strategic Growth Council (SGC) is working with a team of evaluators at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of California, Berkeley, to develop an evaluation plan for the Transformative Climate Communities Program. The evaluation team submitted a draft plan for review and feedback from the SGC, as well as community members and non-profit organizations. Please email tccpubliccomments@SGC.CA.GOV with your feedback. ( SGC)
Local Foods, Local Places 2018-2019 Application
Local Foods, Local Places helps cities and towns to revitalize existing neighborhoods through the development of local food systems. The program provides planning assistance to help communities develop an implementable action plan supporting local food, healthy food access, and neighborhood revitalization. Deadline: 11:59 p.m. ET, October 22, 2018. ( Link)
Request for proposals: Update the California Adaptation Planning Guide
The California Governor's Office of Emergency Services is accepting proposals for development services to update the California Adaptation Planning Guide (APG). First published in 2012, the APG is a set of four complementary documents to guide communities in addressing the unavoidable consequences of climate change. The purpose of the APG update is to equip regional and local governments and agencies with advanced tools, best practices, and guidance to implement innovative climate adaptation strategies and build resilient communities. Deadline: October 26, 3pm. ( CalProcure)
Round 2 of Transformative Climate Communities Grants now open
The Transformative Climate Communities program empowers the communities most impacted by pollution to choose their own goals, strategies, and projects to enact transformational change - all with data-driven milestones and measurable outcomes. The $46 million implementation grants category is only open to eligible cities, including Sacramento. The planning grant category will award $800,000 to 4 cities. The Final Round II Guidelines and the   Notice of Funding Availability can be found on SGC's website. There will be webinars on the implementation ( August 28) and planning ( August 29) grants. Deadline: 5pm, October 30, 2018. ( SGC)
CDFA: 2019 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Call for Proposals
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now accepting concept proposals for its 2019 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. This program funds projects that enhance the competitiveness of CA's specialty crops (fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and horticulture and nursery crops). Grant awards range from $50,000 to $450,000 per project. Attend the   Sacramento workshop on Oct. 18, 9.30-11.30am. Deadline: 5pm, November 2, 2018. ( CDFA)
Antioch University: Climate Change Resilience Series
Join Antioch University New England's Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience in an exciting series of online courses focused on the fundamentals of climate change resilience. The six courses include Climate Impacts: Communication, Facilitation and Stakeholder Capacity Building; Climate Impacts: Vulnerability & Adaptation Planning; Business Resilience & Continuity; and Climate Justice & Equitable Adaptation. Each course runs four weeks and may be completed online in approximately 8 hours per week. Starts Nov. 4. ( Register)
Strategic Growth Council: Climate Change Research Program Solicitation
The Strategic Growth Council (SGC) has made $17.1 million available through the second round of its Climate Change Research Program. These funds will be awarded to proposals focused on the development and deployment of transformative, low-GHG technology. Funded through cap-and-trade, this program supports research on reducing carbon emissions, including energy, adaptation, and resiliency, with an emphasis on California, and explores strategies that protect vulnerable communities and landscapes. Both the Round 2 Solicitation and the updated   Research Investment Plan are on SGC's website. Deadline: Friday, November 9, 5pm. ( SGC)
CARB: Grant Solicitation for Clean Mobility Options for Disadvantaged Communities
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is announcing a grant solicitation for an administrator to implement the Clean Mobility Options Projects for Disadvantaged Communities, which aims to improve clean transportation access and to increase zero-emission and near zero-emission mobility choices for disadvantaged communities. The Grantee, in collaboration with CARB, will develop and administer a program to fund small-scale car sharing and ridesharing projects for these communities. Currently up to $17 million is available for fiscal year 2017-18, intended to support this program over the next two years. There are two teleconferences, on Oct. 23 and Nov. 6, to answer questions. Deadline: Wednesday, November 28, 5pm. ( CARB)
California ReLeaf - 2019 Social Equity Forest Improvement Grant Program
The 2019 Social Equity Forest Improvement Grant Program will support nonprofit and community-based organizations with funding for tree planting projects. While significant focus will be on supporting projects located in disadvantaged and low-income communities, 25% of the funds will be open to state-wide competition in all communities. Emphasis will be placed on shovel-ready projects. Proposals are due by Friday, November 30. ( ReLeaf)
Caltrans FY2019-2020 Grant Programs - $40 million available
Caltrans has $40 million available for transportation planning projects for FY2019-20. The Sustainable Communities Grants ($29.5 million) program will encourage local and regional planning that furthers state goals, including, but not limited to, the goals and best practices in the Regional Transportation Plan guidelines adopted by the California Transportation Commission. The Strategic Partnerships Grants ($4.5 million) will identify and address statewide, interregional, or regional transportation deficiencies on the State highway system in partnership with Caltrans. The transit component will fund planning projects that address multimodal transportation deficiencies with a focus on transit. The Adaptation Planning Grants ($6 million) will support planning actions at local and regional levels that advance climate change efforts on the transportation system. Deadline: November 30, 2018, 5pm. ( Link)
Cal Fire releases $155 million funding programs for forest health and fire prevention
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) is soliciting applications for $155 million in projects that will help prevent catastrophic wildfires and restore forest health while sequestering carbon and reducing GHG emissions. The Fire Prevention Grants Program will fund local projects that address the risk of wildfire and reduce wildfire potential to communities in, and adjacent to, forested areas. Qualified activities include hazardous fuel reduction, fire planning and fire prevention education with an emphasis on improving public health and safety. The Forest Health Grants Program will fund projects that proactively restore forest health, protect upper watersheds, promote the long-term storage of carbon in forest trees and soils, and minimize the loss of forest carbon from large, intense wildfires. Conservation easements and land acquisitions are also eligible under the Forest Legacy Program. In addition to the $155 million, up to $3.5 million will be available specifically for applied research studies that examine forest management and health to support forest landowners, resource agencies, and fire management organizations. The deadline for the Fire Prevention program is 3pm, December 19, 2018, and for the Forest Health Program, 3pm, January 29, 2018. ( Link)
Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Mini Grant Program
SACOG will award mini-grants of up to $3,000 per project in support of small events and non-infrastructure programs or projects that encourage biking, walking, riding transit, carpooling, vanpooling and teleworking, as options for reducing car trips and vehicles miles traveled. Projects that focus on testing a new strategy or tactic for changing travel behavior will be prioritized. Applications considered on a rolling basis until $30,000 has been awarded for each of two application phases. The second phase is open July 15 through December 31, 2018. ( Link)
FEMA FY 2018 Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program and Flood Mitigation Assistance Program
The Pre-Disaster Mitigation program (PDM) funds State, Local and Tribal Governments to implement and sustain cost-effective measures designed to reduce the risk to individuals and property from natural hazards, while also reducing reliance on Federal funding from future disasters. The   Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) Program funds State, Local and Tribal Governments to reduce or eliminate the risk of repetitive flood damage to buildings and structures insured under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). In FY18, the FMA Program will prioritize proposals that address community flood risk by setting aside $70 million for this purpose. Deadline for both programs: January 31, 2019. ( PDM & FMA)
Upcoming Events
UC Davis ITS Seminar: Practical Challenges to Deploying Highly Automated Vehicles
Friday, October 19, 1.40-3pm
Online or 1605 Tilia St, Rm 1103, West Village, UC Davis
This talk focuses on the importance of connectivity of vehicles (vehicle-vehicle and vehicle-infrastructure) in order for automation to have favorable, rather than unfavorable, impacts on traffic congestion, smoothness, safety, and energy/environmental impacts. The seminar will also discuss technical challenges in perception and safety, as well as conservative estimates of the likely timelines for autonomous vehicle introduction and permeation. ( Link)
Disasters and Energy Resilience: Keeping the lights on in our darkest hour
Thursday, October 25, 8.30am-5pm
Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building, 1351 Maple Avenue, Santa Rosa
How reliable is the electricity source in your community? With the increasing severity of natural disasters, we must be prepared to protect ourselves, our neighbors, and our community when the next wildfire, storm, or earthquake strikes. Join the Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition Networking Forum to learn how residents, local governments, and utilities can prepare for and recover from the next natural disaster. Learn about local energy resilience, disaster response, and recovery solutions, along with recounts of the 2017 firestorms from an expert panel of local leaders and utility representatives, and join a free tour on October 26 exploring local microgrid structures and storage systems at Santa Rosa Junior College. ( Link)
Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety Fall Symposium
Thursday, October 25, 8.30am-4pm
UC Davis International Center, Multi Purpose Room, 463 California Ave, Davis
The Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety (WCAHS) Fall Symposium explores significant issues in agricultural health and safety with research and perspectives. The event includes WCAHS research presentations and roundtable discussions on cannabis worker health and safety, wildfire ash and biochar, and physicians serving agricultural communities. ( Link)
Organics: State Regulation and Municipal Opportunities
November 15-16, 2018, 9am-4.45pm
Ziggurat Building, 707 Third Street, West Sacramento
The 13th annual California Bioresources Alliance Symposium will look at how local communities in California are implementing organic waste reduction goals and projects required by State regulations. There will be presentations by local community representatives, flash presentations on new bioresources projects and technologies, and open discussion on implementing projects to achieve California's waste diversion, healthy soils, and renewable fuels goals. There will also be sessions on fire risk reduction and remediation, current research on organics, financing resource recovery projects, and integration of multiple bioresources technologies. Free. ( Link)
Apply now for Transformational Resilience Intensive Train-the-Trainer Workshop 
November 15-16, 2018
The International Transformational Resilience Coalition is offering an intensive Train-the-Trainer Workshop on Transformational Resilience for climate change-aggravated traumas and toxic stresses workshop. Attendance is by application only for a maximum of 20 people who want to learn how to apply knowledge, skills, and tools at the individual, organizational, and community levels to prevent and heal psychological and psycho-social-spiritual impacts resulting from the disasters and extreme stresses generated by rising global temperatures. ( Apply Now)
Meeting of the Minds Annual Summit
November 27-29, 2018, Sacramento
The 12th Meeting of the Minds Annual Summit convenes 400+ smart city leaders across the globe with the purpose of spotlighting emerging and tested urban sustainability solutions which are scalable, replicable, and transferable for cities and regions. Discussions are rooted in a deep understanding of technology and equity as key drivers for smart cities. Key urban issue areas will include water policy, mobility, EVs, electric bikeshare, parking, downtown and waterfront redevelopment, housing, inclusion and equity, food systems, health, homelessness, climate resiliency, IoT, innovative governance, and more. ( Register)
Registration for the National Adaptation Forum is now open!
The 4th National Adaptation Forum will take place in Madison, WI, from April 23-25, 2019. Attendees will learn how to make their work climate-informed, share insights with others, and develop a stronger network of like-minded peers. Early registration ends March 1, 2019. ( Link )
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.