Capital Region
Climate Readiness Collaborative 
 

Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
June 11, 2014
A biweekly newsletter of the Climate Readiness Collaborative.

 

 

Last week the EPA made history by proposing the U.S.'s first regulation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector. The Clean Power Plan offers states individual targets and a flexible menu of solutions, so that no state will face a task too difficult to achieve. Building on the Obama administration's past climate programs and policies, the EPA rule marks a landmark step forward for the U.S., helps the 50 states build a competitive clean energy economy, and improves air quality and public health.  

News and Research

EPA announces landmark rule to limit CO2 emissions from US's power sector 

Photographer: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The U.S. power sector is a source of 40 percent of the country's total GHG emissions. Because emissions have already fallen 15% from 2005 levels, the actual reductions are about 20% from today's levels. Every state has targets tailored to their current energy mix and their potential in achieving clean energy and energy efficiency improvements. Many utility companies are in support of the rule, as it allows them flexibility and provides regulatory guidance for their long-range planning horizon. You can compare the targets for each state here, and learn more about the rule here.

EPA's Clean Power Plan will achieve key health benefits

Photo: glennia

Power plants are a major source of air pollution, so by reducing coal burning in power generation, EPA's new rule aims to reduce sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, mercury, and particulate matter that enter deeply into lungs and damage respiratory and cardiovascular health. Starting from its first effective year, the EPA estimates that the plan will prevent 100,000-150,000 asthma attacks annually, and by 2030 will avoid 310,000 lost work days, 2,700-6,600 premature deaths, 3,700 cases of bronchitis in children, and more.

 

 

The White House report also provides a succinct summary of the key health concerns due to climate change, as well as current federal actions to protect health and reduce emissions. From increasing the risk of asthma attacks to expanding the reach of new infectious diseases, climate change's health impacts are a growing concern, especially for our vulnerable populations. (White House)

Why climate change is a children's health issue
Credit: Photographer: Showface | Agency: Dreamstime.com
According to the World Health Organization, children bear the brunt of the health impacts of climate change. 88% of climate-related illnesses and injuries occur in children under 5, and infants and young children are more vulnerable to heat waves due to their immature immune systems. Fetuses and children are also more vulnerable to air pollution, with impacts ranging from low birth weight and asthma to developmental disorders and the risk of lifelong respiratory and cardiovascular disease. (Livescience

 

Megafire in Alaska sign of future

The wildfire - one of the largest ever in the Kenai Peninsula - is unusually intense due to a severe spruce beetle infestation, strong winds, unusually warm temperatures, and a winter almost devoid of snow in southern Alaska. Wildfires are growing in Alaska, which is also experiencing twice the warming as the continental U.S. (Slate)

California billionaire setting up fund for climate disaster victims

Known for his campaign contributions to climate-savvy political candidates, billionaire Tom Steyer is putting $2 million to start a fund for victims of wildfires, droughts, floods, and extreme weather events. The Climate Disaster Relief Fund will provide grants to organizations serving the victims of climate disasters in the U.S. (SF Gate

Three videos: Americans on the frontline of climate change

A fire chief in Colorado battling increasingly intense wildfires, a Texas rancher struggling in the midst of an unrelenting drought, and fifth-generation oyster farmers that risk losing their harvest to ocean acidification - these ordinary Americans can honestly say, "Climate change is very real. It's changed my entire life." (Yale 360)  

Farmers Insurance withdraws climate lawsuit against Chicago cities

The insurance company said in a statement, "We hoped that by filing this lawsuit we would encourage cities and counties to take preventative steps to reduce the risk of harm in the future." While the suit may have had little chance of victory, it successfully drew attention to the importance of insurance companies in climate adaptation, and raised some difficult questions about public responsibility in responding to known risks and vulnerabilities. (NBC)

Resources and Tools

California launches "US's largest PACE program"

The CaliforniaFIRST residential PACE program will launch this summer in 17 California counties, including Yolo and Sacramento. It will help make energy and water efficiency projects more affordable and accessible for millions of California homeowners. The program will cover the purchase and installation of HVAC systems, solar panels, low-flow toilets, home insulation, and more. (CaliforniaFIRST)        

Disaster relief: Are we prepared?

Photo: The National Academies

 

To help you answer that question, here is a free collection of reports and workshops on disaster relief and preparedness, including floodplain mapping, dam and levee safety, public-private collaboration to build resilience, using social media, responding to children and families, and how public health systems can both cope with disaster effects while providing emergency care. (National Academies Press)

 

Resilient Cities 2014, 5th Forum on Urban Resilience and Adaptation 

http://resilientcitiesblog.iclei.org/
Hosted by ICLEI, this international conference on urban resilience and adaptation has presented summaries and updates from its forum. These focused on the importance of local adaptation funding, examples of successful blue-green infrastructure projects, the implications of climate change for cities, ecosystem services for cities, and local championship for resilience building.  

 

Funding Opportunities
Local governments: 1% interest loans for energy efficiency projects

The California Energy Commission is offering cities, counties, special districts, public care institutions, public hospitals, and public colleges a 1% interest rate for loans for energy efficiency projects, such as building insulation, HVAC, lighting, renewable generation and more. Schools and community colleges covered by Proposition 39 can qualify for 0% interest loans. Learn more

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. REAP helps to support domestic renewable energy production, job creation, new technologies, and the rural economy. Application information and deadlines are available in the May 5, 2014 Federal Register, beginning at the bottom of page 25564 (link here).

USDA offers funding for turning biomass residue to energy

The funding will provide financial assistance to farmers and ranchers for harvesting and transporting biomass residues to a qualifying energy facility to generate clean energy. Program applications should come from the energy facilities that are interested in receiving forest or agricultural residues. This includes agricultural wastes such as corn husks as well as the removal of dead or diseased trees from forests, which will have an important benefit of reducing wildfires. Up to $12.5 million will be available each year. The application period is open fromJune 16 to July 14; view the Federal Register notice or the USDA website.

Upcoming Events
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.