Capital Region
Climate Readiness Collaborative 
 
Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
July 9, 2014
A biweekly newsletter of the Climate Readiness Collaborative.
 

 

Photo credit: riskybusiness.org/uploads/files/Jamestown.jpg

Risky Business has been grabbing all the climate change headlines lately, and no wonder: this report spearheaded by Wall Street heavyweights spells out in clear, unflinching terms the high economic losses expected without meaningful climate action. Using the approach of risk assessment and risk management, Risky Business speaks the language that businesses are already familiar with, but also examines public health and human impacts. Graphics illustrating the number of extremely hot days someone between the ages of 4-31 today can expect to face throughout their lifetimes make climate change real in tangible, personal ways that mean far more to the average person than a percentage loss in GDP. Risky Business is not alone: this newsletter presents other examples of businesses' challenges and solutions for the costs and opportunities of climate change. 

News and Research
SMUD moves forward with 400MW energy storage facility

The Iowa Hill Pumped Storage Project in Camino, El Dorado County, will help SMUD reduce GHG emissions and balance electricity demand and supply. It works by using excess renewable energy - for example, wind energy produced at night - to pump water uphill into a reservoir; when energy demand is high, the water flows back downhill through a hydroelectric generator. (Sacramento Business Journal

Henry Paulson: Important lessons for climate change from the financial crisis

Drawing on his experience as Secretary of the Treasury during the run-up to the financial crisis, Paulson warns everyone - including his Republican party - of the urgency of acting on climate change before it results in large-scale, cascading costs for the environment and the economy. Paulson calls for a carbon tax and risk management and assessment principles. (NYTImes)

Business analysis: EPA proposal will save money in long run for US manufacturers

Using an analysis of the auto industry, the Business Forward Foundation found that the business costs due to climate disruptions are far greater than the cost of the EPA rule to reduce carbon emissions from power plants. Because supply chains are highly specialized and globalized, they are also highly vulnerable to severe weather disruptions, leading to days, if not weeks, of plant closures - for which an auto plant loses more than $1.25 million each hour. By comparison, electricity is a tiny percentage of manufacturers' costs: reducing GHG emissions will add just $7 more to the cost of each vehicle. (link)

Western governors back Obama's separate budget for wildfire fighting
Photo Credit: riskybusiness.org/uploads/files/Firefighter.jpg

Obama proposes a separate budget for fighting wildfires - estimated to be $1.8 billion in 2014 - rather than raiding funds intended for fire prevention and restoration. Using the mitigation budget for firefighting only worsens next year's fire season, as it delays projects that could have helped to reduce the risk and intensity of wildfires. The Western Governors Association said that they would urge Congress to pass the plan, but depending on when (and if) Congress takes up the issue, the change may not occur in time for this fire season. (Oregon Live

Small business worries on climate change

While the landmark Risky Business report highlighted major corporations' vulnerability to climate change, small businesses, in fact, may be more vulnerable. According to the American Sustainable Business Council, 87 percent of small-business owners cited one or more expected climate impacts as being potentially harmful to their business. Top among these was higher energy costs and power outages, while other businesses had specific concerns such as the price of wheat for bakeries. Beyond weather worries, about 57 percent of owners said they'd like to see the largest carbon emitters make the biggest reductions in emissions and bear most of the costs of such efforts. (CNBC)

Case Studies 

San Diego looks ahead to 2050 in collaborative report

 

"San Diego, 2050 Is Calling: How Will We Answer?" is a unique report that combines scientific impacts with business, government, and community leaders discussing actions and opportunities for both the present and the future. The result is an engaging, lively, creative example of climate communication. (UCSD)

Great Lakes already being impacted by climate change

The Great Lakes Restoration and Climate Change report concludes that the impacts of climate change on the Great Lakes system are "already urgent and consequential". Identified concerns are: watershed pollution and degradation, invasive species and the effect of climate on habitats, agricultural production and drought, and energy. Some of the recommendations include involving farmers in nutrient and land-use policy development, calculating the water embodied in food and goods, and aligning Farm Bill incentives with local stewardship priorities. (UWM)
Resources and Tools
Motivating businesses to ambitious mitigation and adaptation

Businesses are at increasing risk from climate impacts that can disrupt supply chains and threaten assets, with cumulative global costs estimated to reach $4 trillion by 2030. BSR, a global business sustainability network, provides a framework for how businesses can build climate resilience by investing in mitigation and adaptation. (BSR)

How should emergency managers address climate change?

Emergency preparedness is essential at all levels of government to help both basic and special relief services remain functioning during emergencies. Here is a list of resources to help emergency managers get started in thinking about how climate change will impact their work. (link)

Funding Opportunities
Energy funding for agricultural producers and rural small businesses

The USDA's Rural Energy for America Program is offering funding for farmers, ranchers, and rural small businesses to install renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. July 31 is the deadline for loan guarantee applications. More info can be found starting at the bottom of page 25564 on the Federal Register (link).

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 energy facilities that are interested in receiving forest or agricultural residues. Up to $12.5 million will be available each year. The deadline is July 14. (USDA)

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 1% interest rate 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 

Upcoming Events
Webinar: How Superstorm Sandy Changed America's Grid
Thursday, July 10, 11am PDT

A year and a half after Superstorm Sandy, resiliency has emerged as a new priority for utilities, regulators, government agencies, and technology companies. This webinar will discuss Greentech Media's new book on how power companies have responded to Sandy. Industry experts will discuss how resiliency planning is influencing regulatory changes, technology adoption, and extreme weather preparedness. (Register)

Webinar: Managing Coast Redwoods for Resilience and Adaptation
July 23, 2014, 9am

Focusing on the Geos Institute project Managing Coast Redwoods for Resilience in a Changing Climate, climate scientist Marni Koopman will discuss their findings on adaptation actions and translating science into implementation. (Register)

Webinar: A Climate-Smart Approach to Adaptive Management of North-central CA Coast Habitats, Species and Ecosystem Services
August 7, 2014 10-11am

The Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary's adaptation project will produce a comprehensive and prioritized adaptation implementation plan based on climate-smart principles, which seek nature-based solutions to reduce climate impacts and enhance resilience to sustain vibrant, diverse ecosystems. (Register)

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.  If you are interested in learning more about the Climate Readiness Collaborative, joining the Collaborative, or being added to the list serv, visit: http://www.climatereadiness.info/ 

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.