Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
October 23, 2019
A biweekly newsletter of the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative
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California power shutoff: How PG&E's actions hit the medically vulnerable the hardest
For Californians who rely on electronic medical devices, access to electricity is a matter of life or death. In the latest shutoff in northern California, PG&E’s power cuts affect more than 30,000 people part of a medical baseline program, meaning they have special energy needs due to medical conditions. These energy needs range from motorized wheelchairs, ventilators, dialysis machines, apnea monitors, electrostatic nebulizers to respirators – all of which require power to operate. In the aftermath of the shutdown, people dependent on these devices were scrambling to find alternative power sources, places to charge them or other ways to get through what was originally slated to be up to five to seven days of no electricity. ( Guardian) Photo: Jose Carlos Fajardo/Associated Press
Cleaning Up Paradise as a Grim Anniversary Nears
Almost a year after wildfire ravaged the small wooded town, residents are still advised not to drink or bathe with tap water. Crews have hauled away more debris than workers took from the World Trade Center after 9/11. They're nearly done. ( CalMatters) Photo: Anne Wernikoff, CalMatters
Federal Reserve Bank presents a dire warning of financial risks from climate change
Home values could fall significantly. Banks could stop lending to flood-prone communities. Towns could lose the tax money they need to build sea walls and other protections. These are a few of the warnings published on Thursday by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco regarding the financial risks of climate change. The collection of 18 papers by outside experts amounts to one of the most specific and dire accountings of the dangers posed to businesses and communities in the US. The new research calls on lenders and other businesses involved in community development “to take a leadership role in preparing vulnerable regions most at risk for a ‘new abnormal.’” ( NYT) Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA, via Shutter Stock
As climate change threatens California, officials seek 'sustainable insurance'
California regulators are teaming up with the United Nations Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative to develop “sustainable insurance” guidelines that would help address climate-change-related disasters such as coastal flooding and larger wildfires. State Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara’s office said the partners plan on working with insurers, reinsurers, public policy leaders, environmental nongovernment organizations, researchers and risk management experts to address climate change issues. The state is the largest insurance market in the nation and one of the biggest in the world. ( LA Times) Photo: Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times
Climate risk in the housing market has echoed of subprime crisis
Banks are shielding themselves from climate change at taxpayers’ expense by shifting riskier mortgages — such as those in coastal areas — off their books and over to the federal government, new research suggests. The findings echo the subprime lending crisis of 2008 but one difference this time is that those values would be less likely to rebound, because many of the homes literally would be underwater. The researchers warn that the threat will grow as global warming leads to more frequent and more severe disasters, forcing more loans to go into default as homeowners cannot or would not make mortgage payments. ( NYT) Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images
Real estate investors need to prepare for climate change before it's too late
If investors, owners, and developers don’t act to mitigate the risks that climate change poses to their portfolios, they could suffer significant losses. That’s the conclusion of Climate Risk and Real Estate Investment Decision-Making, a new report from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and global real estate investment firm Heitman. As real estate investors begin to integrate climate risk in their decisionmaking, they can do so judiciously with several best practices. ( Bloomberg)
Climate change becomes an issue for ratings agencies
Moody’s, a credit rating agency for big borrowers like cities and corporations, has brought on board a data firm specializing in climate risks. It's a signal that rating agencies are paying more attention to global warming and its impact in the financial markets. The move by Moody's signifies a notable step toward financial institutions committing to the idea that climate change should be a routine consideration when evaluating the financial strength of any government or company and their ability to pay their debts. ( Inside Climate News) Photo: Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Revealed: Google made large contributions to climate change deniers
Google has made “substantial” contributions to some of the most notorious climate deniers in Washington despite its insistence that it supports political action on the climate crisis. Among hundreds of groups listed as beneficiaries of its political giving are more than a dozen organisations that have campaigned against climate legislation, questioned the need for action, or actively sought to roll back Obama-era environmental protections. ( Guardian)
Breaking the Habit - Why none of the large oil companies are "Paris-aligned", and what they need to do to get there
A Carbon Tracker analysis says that oil and gas companies have budgeted $50 billion since 2018 across 18 fossil fuel projects, such as Exxon Mobil's $2.6 billion Aspen project in Canada, the first greenfield oil sands project in five years. The report finds that each of the major oil companies has sanctioned projects that are noncompliant with the Paris climate accord targets. Report author Andrew Grant said oil and gas firms appear to be planning for a future with high demand for fossil fuels and are willing to produce the fossil fuels that will exceed the world's carbon budgets. “We can see even though companies may claim to support the Paris Agreement ... their investment behavior doesn't reflect that.” ( CT)
The big polluters' masterstroke was to blame the climate crisis on you and me
Fossil fuel giants have known the harm they do for decades. But they created a system that absolves them of responsibility. ( Guardian )
Companies see climate change hitting their bottom lines in the next 5 years
Many of the world's biggest companies, from Silicon Valley tech firms to large European banks, are bracing for the prospect that climate change could substantially affect their bottom lines within the next five years, according to an analysis of corporate disclosures. Under pressure from shareholders and regulators, companies are increasingly disclosing the specific financial impacts they could face as the planet warms. After analyzing submissions from 215 of the world's 500 biggest corporations, CDP found that these companies potentially faced roughly $1 trillion in costs related to climate change in the decades ahead unless they took proactive steps to prepare. By the companies' own estimates, a majority of those financial risks could start to materialize in the next five years or so. In all, the world’s largest companies estimated that at least $250 billion of assets may need to be written off or retired early as the planet heats up. ( NYT)
Solar-plus-storage improves grid reliability and air quality in Oakland communities
Electricity from a dirty power plant in Oakland will be partially replaced by a virtual power plant (VPP) – a bundle of more than 500 residential solar-plus-battery storage systems installed on low-income homes. East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) hired San Francisco-based solar giant Sunrun to install several MWs of solar and more than two MWh of batteries on 500 low-income housing units in the area before 2022. The plan is to deliver grid reliability capacity over 10 years. The project is necessary to replace the roughly 40-year old Oakland Power Plant, which burns jet fuel for electricity during peak demand and contributes to poor air quality in some of the most polluted parts of the Bay Area. ( Link) Photo: Sunrun
Tools & Resources
Report: Making California More Resilient Through Collaborative Governance
To achieve lasting prosperity, California must build sustainable and resilient communities that can withstand emerging challenges. In a new report, CA Fwd and the California Economic Summit captured some of the ambitious efforts undertaken after the North Bay fires and offers key recommendations for improving resiliency and setting a new standard for recovery. This paper takes a broader look at the Sonoma experience to consider options for public, private and civic-sector leaders throughout the state who seek to build more collaborative relationships important to the everyday efforts of growing equitable and sustainable communities-and essential to increasing resiliency to large-scale disruptions. ( Download)
The Case for Resilience
By and large, existing buildings were not constructed for the changing climate conditions and are at risk for damage, equipment failures, tenant displacement, and loss of business continuity. The paper provides an overview of how climatic events impact buildings and what building owners and managers can do to protect their assets. ( DNV-GL)
2019 Update of Wildfire Smoke: A Guide for Public Health Officials now available
The guide provides public health officials with the information they need to prepare for smoke events, communicate health risks and take measures to protect public health. It is also a valuable resource for anyone interested in learning more about what to do when smoke travels from nearby forest fires. This update offers new information and resources that can be used to get communities smoke ready, including factsheets on what to do before, during, and after a wildfire to protect your health and a PSA video. ( AirNow)
Upcoming Opportunities
Forthcoming Funding Opportunity: The California Climate Resilience Challenge
The California Resilience Challenge is a statewide effort, led by businesses and a diverse range of partners, to build local climate resilience and support a shared vision for a resilient California in the face of increasing climate threats. The Challenge is seeking submissions for diverse and replicable climate change resilience projects from across California. An RFP will be released in the quarter of 2019; interested parties should sign up for updates. Over $2.5 million will be available for projects. ( California Resilience Challenge)
Job opportunity: Sacramento Tree Foundation, Community Forester and Community Forestry Associate
The Sacramento Tree Foundation is hiring for a Community Forester and Community Forestry Associate. The Community Forester educates the public on the inextricable links between a healthy, robust urban forest and a community’s quality of life, health and well-being of its citizens and environmental benefits. The Community Forestry Associate is the first point of contact for the Sacramento Tree Foundation and the Sacramento Shade program. ( STF)
Job opportunity: Cool Davis, Field Coordinator (Transportation)
Cool Davis is hiring for a Field Coordinator to train and direct volunteers to work with households to reduce household-based GHG emissions, focusing on transportation. The Field Coordinator will direct volunteers in delivering activities for Cool Solutions campaigns that are designed using community based social marketing principles and community engagement strategies. ( Apply)
Local Jurisdictions Adaptation and Resiliency Planning: SB 379
The Governor's Office of Planning and Research is conducting a mini-survey to learn about local adaptation and resiliency efforts. The results of this survey will help our office understand how local jurisdictions are meeting SB 379, as well as their obstacles, questions, and innovative strategies. SB 379 requires every local government in California to incorporate climate into the Safety Element of their General Plan, or by reference in other plans. ( SurveyMonkey)
American Climate Leadership Award
The 2020 American Climate Leadership Summit in Washington DC will host the American Climate Leadership Awards to recognize individuals and organizations for their demonstrated success in mobilizing public support and political will on climate among key constituencies, providing $155,000 in cash prizes to help accelerate the replication of important climate action nationwide. The awards welcome entries from community, faith, health and youth organizations and leaders on the local, regional and national scale. Deadline: October 31. ( Link)
National Institutes of Health Funding Opportunity - Environmental Influences on Aging: Effects of Extreme Weather & Disaster Events on Aging Populations
This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) aims to advance our understanding of the impact of extreme weather and disaster events on aging human populations. Together with companion FOA ( PAR- 19-249) that focuses on underlying mechanisms of aging utilizing animal models, these two FOAs will help to explicate the behavioral, biological, and socioecological processes that occur during extreme weather or disaster events and that affect aging processes. The goal is to improve the health and well-being of older adults via increased knowledge about extreme weather and disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. Deadline: Nov. 4. ( NIH)
CDFA: Healthy Stores Refrigeration Grant Program
This California Department of Food and Agriculture grant funds energy-efficient refrigeration units in corner stores and small businesses in low-income or low-access areas to stock California-grown fresh produce, nuts and minimally processed foods. The purpose is to improve access to healthy food choices for underserved communities while promoting CA-grown agriculture. Eligible applicants are corner stores, neighborhood stores, bodegas, convenience stores, or mom and pop stores – all called “corner stores” for purposes of this grant; small businesses; cities; counties; and nonprofits working with corner stores or conducting direct produce sales in low-income or low-access areas. Deadline: November 7. ( CDFA)
Western SARE: Grants to advance innovations in sustainable agriculture
The Professional Development Program Grant focuses on training agricultural professionals to help them spread knowledge about sustainable agriculture concepts and practices. Other grants help full-time graduate students, farmers, ranchers, and producers to implement projects to address identified needs in sustainable agriculture. Deadline: Nov 11-13. ( Western SARE)
First Annual E360 Young Writers Awards
Yale Environment 360 and the Oak Spring Garden Foundation are hosting the Young Writers Awards to honor the best nonfiction environmental writing by authors under the age of 35. Articles should focus on topics related to the natural world, with an emphasis on land conservation, forests and plants, or natural places. The writing can be either an essay or a reported piece, but should have a personal voice and point of view. Deadline: November 15. ( Yale 360)
American Geophysical Union: Thriving Earth Exchange
The American Geophysical Union (AGU)’s Thriving Earth Exchange is seeking several US communities interested in advancing their priorities through collaborative science. For example, communities have worked with AGU scientists to develop a drought vulnerability assessment; assess flood vulnerability of a food distribution center; and save millions in unnecessary remediation costs when creating a recreational park. Join over 98 communities that are advancing their priorities in climate resilience, pollution, natural resource management, or natural hazards! Learn more about our program here. Applications for the December cohort are considered on a rolling basis until 15 November 2019. ( Thriving Earth Exchange)
CalFire: Urban and Community Forestry Grants
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection is offering three types of urban and community forestry grants through California Climate Investments: Urban Forest Expansion and Improvement; Urban Forest Management Activities; and Urban Wood and Biomass Utilization. Concept proposals due November 27. ( CalFire)
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. This a is a non-competitive, over-the-counter grant program. Applications will be accepted until November 30, 2019. ( HCD)
FEMA 2019 Flood Mitigation Assistance and Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grants
In Fiscal Year 2019, the Flood Mitigation Assistance program has $70 million for two types of community flood mitigation activities: 1) Advance Assistance for flood mitigation design and development of community flood mitigation projects; and 2) Mitigation projects that address community flood risk for the purpose of reducing NFIP flood claim payments. The Pre-Disaster Mitigation program provides Federal funds 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. Deadline: January 31, 2020. ( FEMA)
Federal government releases $7 billion to build climate resilience
The money — $7.65 billion in total — aims to make disaster-damaged communities more resilient by paying for reconstruction projects that will withstand increasingly severe storms, hurricanes and other effects of climate change. The funding differs from most federal disaster aid because instead of simply repairing or rebuilding damaged buildings and facilities, communities must spend the recovery money on mitigation projects that "increase resilience to disasters.” California will receive $88 million and has until April 6, 2020, to submit projects. ( Federal Register)
Upcoming Events
Webinar: Developing an Economic Business Case for Healthier Buildings
Thursday, October 24, 10-11am
This webinar will describe the evaluation of high-performance building projects using best practice economics to develop a business case for healthier, high performance buildings across the triple bottom line (social, environmental, and financial). ( Register)
APA Sacramento Valley Speaker Series: Planning Versus Implementation: Advancing Plan Implementation through Innovation & Collaboration
Friday, October 25, 8.30-10.30am
West Sacramento Community Center, 1075 West Capitol Ave, West Sacramento
The California Legislature set ambitious GHG reduction goals with AB 32 and SB 375, which established a framework for achieving reductions by changing approaches to land use and transportation planning. What have these changes been at the community level? What are the opportunities? The speakers will discuss a wide range of opportunity areas to address the issues, from piloting innovative ideas to increase access to clean transportation options, to integrating new sustainable and equitable mobility options. Cost: $20-$30. ( SVSAPA)
ARCCA Learning Session: Killear Heat in California
Tuesday, October 29, 10-11am
This ARCCA Learning Session will draw from the Union of Concerned Scientists' Killer Heat analysis to examine the future of extreme heat in California, from how its frequency will change to what those changes mean for people and infrastructure in the state. In addition, we will highlight policies and solutions needed to limit the harms of future extreme heat. ( Register)
Public Workgroup: Sustainable Transportation Equity Project (STEP)
Tuesday, October29, 3-5pm
CARB Monitoring and Laboratory Division Building, 1927 13th St, Sacramento
CARB invites the public to participate in the first program design workgroup meeting for the Sustainable Transportation Equity Project (STEP), which will take a community-based approach to overcoming barriers to clean transportation and mobility options. STEP aims to reduce GHG emissions, increase access to clean transportation, and address community resident’s transportation needs by funding planning, clean transportation, and land use projects. ( CARB)
Secretary Speaker Series: Protecting California Communities in the Age of Mega Fires
Tuesday, October 29, 12.30-1.30pm
California Natural Resources Building, First Floor Auditorium, 1416 9th St. Sacramento
The Natural Resources Agency will host a talk about the best ways to protect homes and communities in the face of increasing wildfires. Join Secretary Crowfoot for a discussion with home hardening experts to learn about the latest science behind hardening homes and actions needed to make communities survivable in the age of catastrophic fires. ( Youtube, CNRA)
Active Transportation Program 2019 Symposium
October 29-30, Ziggurat, 707 3rd Street, West Sacramento
Co-hosted by the California Transportation Commission and Caltrans, the Active Transportation Program Symposium will share and gather information on relevant active transportation topics and issues and allow stakeholders to connect with the State in an alternate setting. Topics will include benefits, equity, safety, and non-infrastructure projects. ( Link)
Webinar: Strategies for 21st Century Risk Management and Climate Communication
Thursday, October 31, 9-10.15am
This webinar discusses, from a water utility perspective, how to effectively engage stakeholders both outside and within your organization in conversations about climate change and how to mainstream that information using an Enterprise Risk Management framework. ( Register)
Mobilizing California's Public Health Sector - CAT Public Health Workgroup Meeting
Thursday, October 31, 10am-12.30pm
California Department of Public Health, 1500 Capitol Ave, Training Rooms A & B, Sacramento
This meeting will focus on mobilizing California's public health sector to engage with climate change policy and planning, improve community health and equity, and reduce the health impacts associated with climate change. The meeting will feature presentations and discussion centered on opportunities for public health departments and the broader health sector to partner to take local, regional, and state climate action. Webcast available. ( CARB)
Webinar: Introduction to Transformational Resilience for Climate Traumas
Thursday, October 31, noon-1pm
The extreme disasters and toxic stresses generated by human-induced climate disruption are aggravating existing types of traumas and creating new ones. This webinar will explain how a warming planet can affect both personal mental health and psycho-social-spiritual wellbeing and the urgency of building Transformational Resilience; illustrate how professionals can prepare people by building universal capacity for Transformational Resilience; and clarify how the expanded awareness of self and context motivates people to care for others or the natural environment as a way to help themselves. ( Register)
United Latinos: 2nd Environmental Justice Townhall
Saturday, October 26, 2019, 10am-12.30pm
Stanford Settlement Neighborhood Center, 451 W. El Camino Avenue, Sacramento
United Latinos presents its second Health & Environmental Justice Town Hall to cover a variety of issues in the community. Come learn about United Latinos' work, and hear firsthand the health challenges faced by residents of North Sacramento. ( Facebook)
Sacramento County Public Health: Community Health Improvement Plan
Thursday, November 7, 9am-noon
7001-A East Parkway, Sacramento
Sacramento County Public Health invites you to attend a Community Stakeholder Meeting as part of efforts to develop a Community Health Improvement Plan. The purpose of this meeting is to review preliminary findings and data about the health of our community and to receive stakeholder and community input on priorities, health concerns and needs. For more information and to RSVP please contact Alexa Bunton at 
Webinar: The Resilient Growth Model for Building Transformational Resilience for Climate Traumas
Thursday, November 7, noon-1pm
Many factors determine the ability of individuals, groups, and communities to successfully cope with trauma and toxic stresses and use them as transformational catalysts to learn, grow, and increase wellbeing. This webinar will describe the principles and methods of building these capacities using the Resilient Growth model. ( Register)
Webinar - Dibaginjigaadeg Anishinaabe Ezhitwaad: A Tribal Climate Adaptation Menu for Indigenous-led Climate Adaptation
Wednesday, November 13, 11am-noon
Traditional and Indigenous knowledge and perspectives have not often been recognized in planning resources for climate adaptation in natural and cultural resource management. This webinar will introduce the Dibaginjigaadeg Anishinaabe Ezhitwaad: A Tribal Climate Adaptation Menu, a new tool to assist in developing specific adaptation actions that recognize and incorporate tribal perspectives. The tool was created to help integrate tribal and traditional values with climate adaptation planning. It may be used to help bridge communication barriers for non-tribal persons or organizations and the needs and values of diverse tribal communities. ( Register)
California-Nevada Drought Early Warning System Partner Meeting
November 18-19, Capitol Event Center, Sacramento
The 2019 NIDIS California-Nevada Drought Early Warning System Partner Meeting will bring together federal, state, local, tribal, academic, and private sector partners to share and discuss ongoing drought activities, learn about new and innovative drought research and resources, explore emerging issues and opportunities, and identify collaborative paths forward to help the region monitor, forecast, plan for, and cope with the impacts of drought. ( DEWS)
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 .