Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
October 5, 2016
A biweekly newsletter of the Climate Readiness Collaborative

We are excited to welcome Placer County Air Pollution Control District (PCAPCD) as our newest member in the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative. The PCAPCD is engaged in innovative, multi-disciplinary work to reduce the risk of wildfires in the Sierra Nevada mountains, helping to improve watershed and forest health, reduce black carbon emissions, generate renewable energy, and support the local economy. We are confident that PCAPCD's participation in our climate collaborative will help strengthen the critical connection between urban Californian cities and the rural regions upon which they rely for clean air, fresh water, natural resources, and recreation. 

We'd also like to encourage you to join us at our forthcoming Quarterly Meeting, on October 14 in downtown Sacramento, to discuss the health threats of the urban heat island effect and what we can do to improve our resilience to extreme heat. Also related is a fascinating opportunity to tour the UC Davis Pavement Center on October 27 and learn more about how cool and permeable pavements can support water supply, mitigate flooding, and reduce emissions! ( Register)
A closer look at white roofs and green roofs
Photo: Franckreporter/Getty
Extreme heat and the urban heat island effect will be a critical threat for cities. Cool (light-colored) roofs, street trees, and replacing pavements with green space have all been shown to be more effective than green roofs, which may not deliver benefits at the street-level. However, cool roofs can also have unintended consequences such as reducing sea breezes and air quality. Despite the uncertainties, many scientists say that cities are not pursuing cooling strategies quickly enough, given the pace of climate change and urban growth. Proponents say that both green roofs and cool roofs have helped in some situations and that careful implementation could improve their efficiency. Los Angeles aims to convert 10,000 dark roofs to cool roofs by 2017, and in combination with reflective pavements and street trees, reduce the urban heat island effect by 1.65°C in 2035. ( Nature)
Governor Brown signs bill to help ensure climate-safe infrastructure 
AB 2800 (Quirk, D-Hayward) requires the creation of a working group to help ensure that plans and designs for the state's infrastructure are informed by the best available climate science. The bill will bring together engineers, architects and climate scientists to develop recommendations for best practices to integrate climate impacts into state infrastructure design and construction. While California is at the cutting edge of producing climate data and tools, engineers have traditionally relied upon historical data and trends, and don't always have the information they need - or in a readily usable format - to plan for a range of climate futures. It is critical that public infrastructure projects, such as roads, bridges, dams, reservoirs and buildings, which are built to last for many decades, remain safe and reliable. ( Union of Concerned Scientists)
An American tragedy: why are millions of trees dying across the country?
Photo: David McNew/Getty Images
A quiet crisis is playing out in US forests as huge numbers of trees succumb to drought, disease, insects, and wildfire - much of it driven by climate change. In California, in addition to the 66 million trees in the Sierra Nevada killed by drought since 2010, an invasive pathogen called Sudden Oak Death is infecting hundreds of different plants, from redwoods and ferns to backyard oaks and bay laurels. In the western U.S., various beetles and the fungi they carry have wiped out millions of acres of trees, with cascading effects. In the redwoods, the loss of tan oaks and their relatives would strip away nut-producing species that animals rely on for food. The loss of mountain pines threatens grizzly bears and the critical snowpack. ( Guardian)
White House expands Smart City initiative to solve sustainability challenges 
Photo: Lasse Fuss
The White House announced an additional $80 million dollars for its one-year-old Smart Cities Initiative, bringing the total investment to $240 million. The initiative, which will grow to over 70 cities, will tackle challenges such as public safety, resilience, and transportation, through research and partnerships between governments, universities, and the private sector. Efforts include the Better Communities Alliance, a DOE network that will create smart, energy-efficient transportation systems and clean energy sources for over 30 cities, bringing renewable energy into low-income communities and developing buses and trains running on electric and alternative fuels. Other programs will help cities develop big data and smart technologies to address sustainability, resilience, equity, and efficiency. For cities that are not participating, the White House will provide support through a guide on the Internet of Things and a toolkit to help build public-private partnerships. ( Next City; factsheet)
Climate change is already affecting our minds and societies now 
Climate change is already affecting our minds and our reactions. In an exhaustive review of 200 studies, researchers use statistics to tease out some of the surprising correlations between warming temperatures, society, and behavior. Warmer temperatures made people more irritable and short-tempered, increased crime rates, worsened academic performance, and reduced sexual reproduction, for example. In developing countries, infant mortality increased in the post-disaster recovery process. On a macro level, climate change is estimated to reduce economic growth by 0.25 percent annually. ( Bloomberg)
How to report on climate change so people engage 
Photo: Jon S.
According to a new study, people are more likely to feel empowered to take action on climate change when they read news that covers not only climate impacts but also solutions, and presents Americans as understanding of climate change and confident in taking action. However, most news coverage fails to do this within the same article, and focuses little on what individuals can do to shape policy. The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times particularly were more likely to frame climate action as ineffective rather than effective. Though this challenges journalistic standards, researchers suggest that journalists consider how their editorial decisions may influence public opinion and engagement on this critical topic. ( Think Progress)
Tools and Resources
Advancing Equity in California Climate Policy: A New Social Contract for Low-Carbon Transition
This report proposes a "Climate Policy Equity Framework" that operates at three levels to articulate equity principles and goals to guide policy design; present key criteria to analyze how close a particular climate program comes to meeting these equity goals; and propose indicators that point the way to mechanisms and strategies to advance climate equity. ( Link)
White House launches climate data resource for communities
Partnership for Resilience and Preparedness (PREP), a new initiative from the White House and partners including Google and Microsoft, will consolidate real-time, user-friendly climate data from a wide variety of sources in a single location. The goal is to provide authoritative, actionable data, projections, and figures for decision-makers and planners to help communities and businesses prepare for the impacts of climate change. Users can create personalized dashboards and map climate risks for locally relevant indicators, for example, and even upload their own local data and resilience plans.  ( Prep)
Climate Explorer helps planners visualize how climate will change in their county  
Photo: David McNew/AFP/Getty Images
A new NOAA tool shows how climate change will affect the likelihood of extreme weather events on a localized basis. For every county, the Climate Explorer compares historical temperature and precipitation data with projected trends based on downscaled climate models. The easy-to-read charts and maps can help local governments visualize how future temperature and precipitation will change from current conditions. For Sacramento, the tool show a significant increase in both day and nighttime temperatures, fewer days below 32F, and a variable increase in precipitation during the winter and spring. ( Inside Climate News
EPA updates risk assessment tool to help communities prepare for climate change
This online climate risk assessment tool will assists users in designing adaptation plans based on the threats confronting their communities. Designed for water utilities, the Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT) identifies key climate impacts, provides climate change projection data, and presents monetized risk results. CREAT's climate projection map illustrates future climate scenarios including precipitation intensity for a 100-year storm or the number of days per year with temperatures above 100ºF. With this powerful information, utility owners and operators can better prepare for the impacts of climate change. ( CREAT)
Green Infrastructure and Climate Change: Collaborating to Improve Community Resiliency
In 2015, EPA convened charrettes in Albuquerque, Grand Rapids, Los Angeles, and New Orleans to explore how green infrastructure could help cities become more resilient to climate change. This report summarizes case studies from each city on how green infrastructure can help them address flooding, water supply, urban heat island effects, energy use, and more. The case studies also address implementation challenges and processes. ( EPA)
Upcoming Opportunities
2017-2018 Caltrans Sustainable Transportation Planning Grants
These grants provide transportation planning funds to promote a balanced, comprehensive multimodal transportation system that promotes sustainability. They may be used for a wide range of transportation planning purposes to address local and regional transportation needs and issues. Sample proposals include context-sensitive streetscapes or town center plans, complete street plans, bike and pedestrian safety enhancement plans, and studies that advance a community's effort to reduce transportation related greenhouse gases, assist transportation agencies in creating sustainable communities, or advance a community's effort to address the impacts of climate change. Deadline November 4, 5pm. ( Link)

The Local Government Commission has helped over 70 communities in the past 15 years develop a range of plans related to active transportation and sustainable development. If you are interested in partnering with the LGC on a grant application, contact Jenny Woods ( or Paul Zykofsky (
Upcoming Events
CRC Quarterly Meeting
Friday, October 14, 9.30am-1.30pm
City of Sacramento, New City Hall, Conference Room 1119, 915 I Street, Sacramento
Please join us to learn more about Sacramento-focused urban heat island research and the direct impacts of heat on communities in our region, as well as examples and lessons learned from other regions. We will also hear about past and current efforts our region is undertaking to reduce the urban heat island effect and discuss and brainstorm future actions.  ( Register )
CRC UC Davis Pavement Center Tour
Thursday, October 27, 9.30-11.30am
3327 Apiary Drive, Davis
The CRC is organizing a visit of the UC Davis Pavement Research Center to learn about their exciting research on cool pavements. The tour will cover an overview of their research, lifecycle analysis, and studies around permeable pavements and other related research. We will also tour their pavement garden, where they are collecting data on cool pavements. ( Register )
Urban Land Institute: Active Transportation and Real Estate in Sacramento
Thursday, October 6, 8-10.30am
Cal State Lottery Building, 700 North Tenth Street, Sacramento 
How is the Sacramento Region capitalizing on the increase in people riding bicycles and utilizing other forms of active transportation? Learn about planned changes to the urban core, commuter rail, and regional bikeways, and how these projects are affecting the region's economic vitality and competitiveness, achieving our sustainability goals, and improving public health. Senior Resident Fellow with the Urban Land Institute, Ed McMahon, will share best practices throughout the country and world, after which a panel will discuss how planning efforts are improving active transportation in our Region. Cost: $50, $25 for ULI members. ( Register)
Policy Priorities for California's Water
Tuesday, October 18, 8am-12.15pm
Sheraton Grand Hotel, 1230 J Street, Sacramento
Although 2016 was somewhat wetter than the previous four years, a fifth year of drought keeps water at the top of California's policy agenda. This conference looks at what's on tap in key areas, including strengthening urban drought resilience, managing groundwater in rural areas, addressing declining ecosystem health, and ensuring safe drinking water in disadvantaged communities. Webcasting is available. ( Register)
How forest management and fire affect California's water and energy resources
Tuesday, October 18, 11.30am-1.30pm
Downey Brand, 18/F, 621 Capitol Mall, Sacramento
California's forests are the headwaters for the State's water supply, and support hydro power and critical transmission infrastructure. Please join the Association of Women in Water, Energy, and Environment to learn how these resources are affected by fire prevention and control and timber management decisions. Speakers will be Janet Barentson, Chief Deputy Director for CAL FIRE, and Mark Rentz, President of Integrated Natural Resources Management. ( Register)
Registration now open: 2016 Natural Areas Conference
October 18-21, 2016
UC Davis
"Climate Change Adaptation and Natural Areas Management: Turning Words to Action" is the theme of this year's interdisciplinary conference from the Natural Areas Association, UC Davis, and the U.S. Forest Service, which will focus on strategies and tactics that resource and natural areas managers can employ to prepare for and respond to climate change. Topics include forest management, connecting ecological restoration and adaptation, tree planting, prescribed fire and wildland fire use, meadow and stream restoration, pollinators, and carbon and biomass markets. Placer County Jennifer Montgomery will be speaking on a case study on Sierra Nevada landscape and watershed restoration. ( Register)
4th annual Farm to Every Fork
Friday, October 21, and  Friday, November 4, both at  5.30pm
Grace Presbyterian Church, 4300 Las Cruces Way, Sacramento
The 4th annual Farm to Every Fork event hosted by Grace Presbyterian Church focuses on food justice and access, with this year's events addressing child nutrition. On  October 21, there will be a screening of What's on Your Plate?, a witty and provocative documentary that follows two eleven-year-old city kids as they explore the origin of the food they eat, how it's cultivated, and how many miles it travels from farm to fork. On  November 4, Monique Stovall, the director of nutrition at the San Juan Unified School District, will speak on meeting the challenges of providing nutritious, appealing meals amidst regulations and tight budgets. ( Link)
Workshop: Overcoming Financial and Organizational Barriers to Local Adaptation
Friday, October 21, 1-5pm
915 I Street, Sacramento
Join us for an interactive, discussion-based workshop to better understand the financial and organizational barriers that local governments in California face in implementing adaptation strategies. This workshop will provide opportunities to learn about financing needs in California, practical opportunities for funding adaptation, what institutional and organizational barriers hinder work on adaptation, and how to move your organization to higher levels of capacity. We encourage you to attend this workshop if you work in, with, or for local governments on adaptation research, planning, financing, funding and/or implementation. There are also workshops scheduled for the Sierra Nevada (Truckee, Oct. 26), Central Valley (Tulare, Sept. 29), and the North Coast (Eureka, Oct. 25). ( Register)
Registration Opens Thursday, October 6: New Partners for Smart Growth Conference
February 2-4, 2017,  St. Louis, MO
The 16th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference will focus on practical tools and innovative strategies for creating great communities, and will include more than 80 plenaries, breakouts, focused trainings, experiential learning opportunities, and implementation workshops. Climate change-related topics include resilient cities, renewable energy, adaptation, green infrastructure, and more. Early-bird rates are available through November 30th. (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.