Capital Region
Climate Readiness Collaborative 
 

Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
May 28, 2014
A biweekly newsletter of the Climate Readiness Collaborative.

 

As temperatures start to rise in the Sacramento region, the outlook for California's drought-stricken summer is also heating up. Wildfires like those in San Diego recently, the severe lack of water for agriculture and ecosystems, and higher prices for food and electricity are all serious threats that we face not only this summer but in the long-term future. 

 

Fortunately, we are taking action in response. Most notably, leading global insurers have come out with strong commitments to promote climate- and resilience-friendly policies. On the local side, there are several new resources and funding opportunities, from water efficiency projects and tailored solar roadmaps for local governments to rural energy grants. There's also no better way to learn about all things adaptation than to attend the California Adaptation Forum this summer - registration just opened, and we hope you'll join us! 

News and Research

Electricity prices could skyrocket this summer for California, says CAISO

According to the operator of the state electricity grid, the drought will reduce the amount of available cheap hydroelectricity power, as well as water-dependent geothermal power. Both these sources of power are critical to meeting the peak summer electricity demand. (KTVU)

Due to hydro reserve fund, SMUD will not enact drought surcharge 

PHOTO: SACBEE

The municipal utility's advance planning for drought risks included financial buffers to cover the increased costs of electricity in times of hydroelectric shortage. While three consecutive dry years have impacted SMUD's reservoirs in the Upper American River, it will use $35 million from its hydro reserve funds to cover the cost of buying replacement power. (Sacramento Bee)

Irreversible collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet is already underway 
Photograph: Jim Yungel/NASA Photograph: HANDOUT/AFP/Getty Images

The complete collapse is likely 200-500 years off, but sea levels are already rising faster than predicted. Two separate teams of scientists came to similar conclusions that the ice sheet has gone past a point of no return, and even a drastic reduction in GHG emissions cannot stop its retreat. (Guardian)

World's oldest, biggest insurance market calls on insurers to include climate change in their models
A home damaged by Superstorm Sandy in 2013 in the Staten Island borough of New York City. Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images

 

Lloyd's says it is time for a formal call on the industry to take climate change into account in their catastrophe models, with new approaches needed to estimate the extent and frequency of extreme events. In an editorial, the Chairman of Lloyd's says insurers have an important role to play in dealing with climate impacts that are already occurring through coordinating with other industries, especially construction. (Guardian)

Geneva Association insurers commit to new actions on climate change

Sixty-six chief executives of the world's leading insurers have committed to a set of guiding principles on the substantial role the insurance industry can play in tackling climate risks. The Geneva Association pledge to market insurance policies aimed at promoting the development of low-carbon energy projects, and use their combined investment muscle to promote low carbon initiatives. (Climate News Network

Chicago-area municipalities sued for failing to prepare for climate risks

Farmers Insurance argues that municipal governments knew of the increased flood risks posed by climate change, but failed to take action to reduce risks and mitigate damage prior to flooding in August 2013. Though legally the case may not succeed, the first-of-its-kind class-action suit poses an interesting question about who is liable for the costs of climate change. (Washington Post)  

Meet the world's first chief resilience officer 

San Francisco was the first in the Rockefeller Foundation's 100 Resilient Cities challenge to hire its Chief Resilience Officer, Patrick Otellini, as one of the many resiliency components funded by this program focused on climate adaptation. (GreenBiz  

Resources and Tools

Customized Solar Roadmap for Local Governments

American Solar Transformation Initiative

Developing a solar strategy may seem dauntingly unfamiliar for local governments. That's why a public-private partnership is stepping in to help create a customized solar plan for each jurisdiction, making it easier, faster, and cheaper to install solar power. The American Solar Transformation Initiative (ASTI) will provide each jurisdiction with an evaluation of their local solar potential, estimated economic and environmental impact, a customized solar roadmap, assistance with implementation, and more - for free. http://www.solarroadmap.com/about/asti/

How nature-based approaches can protect cities

The National Wildlife Foundation presents communities with a guide to nature-based approaches that not only respond to drought, extreme heat, and urban flooding, but also support people and ecosystems. Nature-based approaches enhance, protect, and restore natural infrastructure, or incorporate features that mimic natural processes, such as rain gardens and green roofs. Included are descriptions and case studies from cities that are already implementing these strategies. (NWF)

Funding Opportunities
Energy funding for agricultural producers and rural small businesses
The USDA's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) is announcing funding for farmers, ranchers, and rural small businesses to install renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. There will be $12.3 million in grants and $57.8 million in loan guarantees. (link here).

Funding opportunity for projects to improve water efficiency, energy use

The State Department of Water Resources is offering grants to local agencies, joint-power authorities, and non-profit organizations to implement water efficiency programs or projects that reduce GHG emissions and water and energy use. (DWR)

Upcoming Events
Stormwater Adaptation Modeling Webinar

June 11, 2014, 7-8am PDT

The EPA has recently released a new version of its National Stormwater Calculator (SWC) to incorporate climate predictions in estimating the amount of rainfall and frequency of runoff for any location in the U.S. It allows users to assess the impacts of stormwater on properties and can account for both existing and planned physical improvements. Provided by engineering and environmental consultants Tighe and Bond, this webinar will explore how the SWC can project the effects of climate change and how low-impact development techniques can be utilized as an adaptation strategy. Registration $50. (Link)

Creating Climate-Adaptive and Hazard-Resilient Communities
June 18-19, Boston, MA
Where does hazard mitigation fit into local planning? Get answers from leading experts on hazard mitigation, including the Climate Readiness Collaborative's own Julia Burrows, as you jump-start your community's preparations for reducing the impacts of future disasters. You'll learn how to integrate hazard considerations into comprehensive planning and other local plans. Is your community ready to handle the hazards in your region? Find out in hands-on exercises with APA's smart growth audit tool. You'll go home ready to make your community a more resilient place. (Link)
August 19-20, Sacramento - Registration is Open!
The first California Adaptation Forum, co-hosted by the Local Government Commission and the State of California, is designed to create a comprehensive network of multi-disciplinary adaptation leaders who have a strong commitment to addressing climate risks in California. The program is reflective of the diverse needs and challenges California is facing and the forum will bring together over 600 leading voices from public health, water, emergency management, agriculture, biodiversity conservation, and coastal management sectors to share insights on how we can most effectively respond. Confirmed keynote speakers include Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal, California Natural Resources Agency Secretary John Laird. Learn more and register by visiting: www.CaliforniaAdaptationForum.org. 
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 Sacramento Region.  

 

The Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative's current members include: UC Davis Policy Institute for Energy, Environment and the Economy; Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District; Sacramento Area Council of Governments; Greenwise Joint Ventures; Sacramento Municipal Utility District; Pacific Gas & Electric Company; and the Local Government Commission. If you are interested in learning more about the Climate Readiness Collaborative, joining the Collaborative, or being added to the list serv, please contact Jenny Woods.

Copyright 2014. All Rights Reserved.
 
This newsletter is intended for general educational and informational purposes only. 
It does not necessarily reflect the views of individual CRC members.