Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
September 3, 2014
A biweekly newsletter of the Climate Readiness Collaborative.
 

 

 

We hope you were able to make it to the inaugural California Adaptation Forum, hosted by the Local Government Commission in partnership with the State of California, two weeks ago in Sacramento. Listening to the plenary speakers, learning from the valuable and varied breakout sessions, and meeting and conversing with our fellow climate adaptation practitioners has helped to give us renewed energy and motivation in our work to further local resilience and adaptation here in the Capital Region. That's why this issue of our newsletter focuses on the challenges faced by cities and counties in preparing for climate change - and the innovative solutions and partnerships they have created in response.   


 

If you were not able to attend the Forum, we encourage you to visit www.CaliforniaAdaptationForum.org to view the breakout session PowerPoints or purchase audio recordings of the plenaries or breakout sessions. Video recordings of the all of the plenary sessions will also be available on the Forum website in the very near future.

News and Research
Lake Tahoe status report examines climate change and drought impacts
Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

 

UC Davis' "Tahoe: State of the Lake Report 2014" examines how drought, climate change, and other natural and human factors are driving changes at Lake Tahoe. Summers, for example, are growing in length, and average temperatures are higher, resulting in earlier peak snowmelt and warmer lake waters. Researchers say that more study is needed to understand how extreme events will impact the Tahoe Basin and the Sierra. State and congressional leaders also met at Tahoe to discuss the environmental status of the lake. Both Republicans and Democrats agreed that more logging was needed to reduce the threat of wildfire. (Tahoe Daily Tribune

Getting Hotter Faster: Cities and the Urban Heat Island effect

Heat is the #1 weather-related cause of death in the U.S., and with 80% of Americans living in cities, the urban heat island effect, in combination with climate change, will have serious health impacts for people. Sacramento is up to 16F hotter in the summer than the surrounding rural areas. Cities are warming faster than their adjacent rural areas, and the effect is even greater at night. Read the new report from Climate Central analyzing U.S. cities and the urban heat island effect.

Cool Roofs: Good for Air Quality, Public Health, and the Climate

Photo: Benjamin Mandel

Cool roofs provide one good solution to the urban heat island effect (see above). Art Rosenfeld - California's original energy efficiency guru - discusses how cool roofs can protect public health, improve air quality, reduce energy use, and - if implemented around the world - can help reduce the warming effect of climate change. White roofs can reduce the energy absorbed by the earth's surface, and replace some of the reflectance lost as ice and snow caps melt and become darker. (Grist)

Vulnerable Populations Face Barriers in Recovering from Disasters

Environmental justice populations are not only more exposed to environmental hazards from climate change and natural disasters, but also face greater barriers in the recovery phase as well, according to a new report from the New Jersey Climate Change Alliance. In particular, strict documentation requirements - such as receipts for groceries lost in the storm - may make it difficult for vulnerable populations to obtain government assistance after disasters, while limited housing will increase rents. The report recommends specific emergency response and preparedness plans for local communities. (InsideClimateNews)

Four Ways Cities Can Invest in Flood Resilience

Early and proactive investing - before the disaster - can result in cost savings and economic growth

Photo: Gina Ford and Jason Hellendrung

for vulnerable zones. Urban design professionals outline four strategies cities can invest in now to improve their resiliency to flooding, high tides, and stormwater. These include novel solutions such as making room for water in the city instead of trying to keep it out, through absorbent parks, floodable open spaces, permeable roads, and underground cisterns that instead channel the water where planners want it to go. (GreenBiz 

Sacramento Ranks 5th in Nation for Clean Tech Leadership

According to the U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index, California leads U.S. states for clean tech leadership, while Californian cities take up 5 out of the top 7 ranking slots among cities. Cities are evaluated for their performance in green buildings, advanced transportation, clean electricity, and carbon management, among other criteria. (Clean Edge)

Case Studies and Examples
Mayor Helps Lead Lancaster, CA, to Clean Energy Future

Mayor Rex Parris, a Republican, discusses how he has used his role of mayor to help streamline local permitting for solar, develop zero net energy housing, and attract clean technology businesses to this suburb of Los Angeles. Mayor Parris also shared his vision for a net zero community at the recent California Adaptation Forum. A video of his plenary presentation will be available soon at www.CaliforniaAdaptationForum.org. (Forbes)

New York Legislation Requires Climate Adaptation
Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit

The Community Risk and Resiliency Act is the only legislation in the nation that requires climate impacts to be a part of the permitting and funding process throughout the state of New York. The bill affects infrastructure ranging from bridges and parks to wastewater management systems and covers projects that need government funding or permits. Companies and communities seeking state permits or funding will use climate projection data for sea level rise, storm surges, and more. The bill was strongly supported by the business community, hundreds of thousands of which were damaged by Sandy and Irene. (Inside Climate

Punta Gorda: Model for Climate Readiness

This southwestern Florida city of 17,000 is among the most climate-ready of U.S. cities. Using existing resources from state and federal agencies, the city incorporated climate information and projections into city planning, and is now executing the plan. The city now has building codes stricter than state and federal regulations, guidance for infrastructure siting, oyster reef and mangrove restoration, and more. (News Press

How Four South Florida Counties are Taking Climate Adaptation into their own Hands

The southern tip of Florida is among the U.S.'s most vulnerable locations to climate change. But its state leaders are also singularly in denial of climate change. That's why four counties have turned to a collaborative approach to form one of the nation's earliest regional climate compacts. Through collaboration, the counties have been able to motivate efforts, prioritize, develop joint climate projects, and adopt a regional adaptation plan that can also be tailored for each county's individual needs. (ThinkProgress)

Regional Partnership Tackles Sea Level Rise for the Mid-Atlantic States
Photo: The News Journal/GARY EMEIGH)

 

A new partnership of scientists and federal officials from Delaware to Virginia will take a regional look at sea-level rise and how best to prepare for the impacts. The first initiative of the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Resiliency Institute could be to develop a real-time, online, coastal flood map of the region, which has seen sea level rise 3-5 times the global average. (News Journal)

Upcoming Events
Register Today: Climate Readiness Collaborative Quarterly Meeting

Board Room, SACOG, 1415 L St. #300, Sacramento

October 9, 1:00pm - 4:30pm

Come to the Climate Readiness Collaborative's first Quarterly Meeting to learn more about responding to climate change impacts in the region and how we can work together to leverage adaptation opportunities. Topics will include water supply, wildfire, transportation, business resiliency and more. Participants will also have an opportunity to share additional opportunities and identify next steps to help sustain and enhance the Capital Region's resiliency efforts.  (Learn more and register)

Webinar: Valuing the Costs and Benefits of Solar

September 9, 9:00am - 10:00am PDT

Presenters will discuss the existing value of solar studies, highlight their strengths and weaknesses, and propose a framework for a fair, replicable, and sustainable way to value the contribution of distributed solar generation to electric utilities. (Register)

Webinar: How a recent Supreme Court decision can impact local climate action

September 10, 10:00am - 11:15am

This webinar will provide practical advice to local governments on how to navigate uncertainties raised by a recent Supreme Court decision, Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, which ruled that monetary fees on land use development are subject to federal constitutional scrutiny. The webinar will discuss implications for incorporating climate change into development permitting processes and adaptation and smart growth policies, and potential techniques for using exactions and impact fees to address climate change. (Register here)

Workshop: New GHG Emissions Management Tool for Local Governments

Yolo County Housing Authority, 147 W. Main St., Woodland

September 18, 9:30am - 4:00pm

This training workshop from the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative will teach local governments how to use SEEC ClearPath California, an online emissions management platform for local governments. Participants will learn how to use the platform to track, forecast, and mitigate GHG emissions at the municipal operations and community scale. Lunch provided (Register)

Webinar: Tools and Concepts to Manage Climate Risks in Global Supply Chains

September 17, 11am, and Sept. 18, 6pm (PDT) 

Global shifts like natural resource constraints and extreme weather are creating new challenges for corporations with global supply chains, causing disruptions, delays, and cost increases. Sustainability and risk management professionals will play a crucial role in identifying, quantifying, and mitigating risks arising from hazards like coastal storms, droughts, fires, and floods. This webinar will give you: 1) A practical framework to understand climate change risk, and 2) Quantitative tools to map and assess climate risk in a supply chain. (Register)

Workshop: Landscape-Scale Strategies to Address Climate Change

Placer County Community Development Resource Agency, 3091 County Center Drive, Auburn
September 22, 11:00am - 1:00pm

The Nature Conservancy is hosting a workshop to provide communities with tools to evaluate the climate benefits of their conservation plans. Through a pilot carried out in Sonoma County, the project develops a replicable county-wide portfolio of tools, policies, and economic incentives to facilitate the conservation of high priority natural and working landscapes to address climate change. Come and learn about the project, its applicability to your community, and help provide feedback. (RSVP, lunch is provided)

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: 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.