Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
October 15, 2014
A biweekly newsletter of the Climate Readiness Collaborative.


Thank you to everyone who came to the Capital Regional Climate Readiness Collaborative's First Quarterly Meeting last week. We hope you came away with ideas to build resilience and opportunities to collaborate with partners and peers in the capital region. As a new report last week just revealed, California leads all U.S. states on actions to prepare for climate change - and the Capital Region should set an example as well, for how climate readiness can not only protect our communities but also benefit our health, economy, and quality of life.  

News and Research
California leads U.S. states in climate readiness
Photo: Georgetown Climate Center

The Georgetown Climate Center's new tool to track state progress in preparing for the impacts of climate change reveals that California leads the U.S. in preparation efforts. Researchers found only 14 states had fully fledged adaptation plans with specific goals in place. California has the most completed climate adaptation goals, as well as the most in progress - 251, to be exact. (Mother Jones) 

How bad can California's mega-drought get?

Photo: Allen J. Schaben

The answer, according to several researchers, is surprisingly not that bad. Researchers who modeled the effects of a seven-decade long mega-drought found that the economy would not collapse, the state wouldn't turn into a dust bowl, and agriculture wouldn't disappear either. Instead, the state would turn to innovative ways of recycling water, and learn to use its existing water more effectively and efficiently. (LA Times)

San Diego's new climate action plan aims to cut emissions by half in 2035

The reduction would be achieved primarily in the transportation, building (including existing buildings), and electricity sectors. The city gained the support of business and developers by eliminating required water and energy efficiency upgrades at the point of sale, opting instead for sellers to disclose current energy and water usage as well as potential savings from upgrades.  Transportation emissions reductions would be achieved through increasing neighborhood density and the use of electric vehicles, biking, and public transit. (UT San Diego)

Due to drought, California electricity turns to natural gas and wind

Credit: EIA

California normally gets 20 percent of its electricity from hydropower generation, but this declined to 10 percent during the first six months of 2014. Nearly all of the state's reservoirs are below average levels. Earlier this year, the California Energy Commission estimated there would be a 63 percent shortfall in hydropower generation this year. To make up the gap, natural gas generation has climbed to a 10-year high, but wind generation also surpassed hydropower for the first time in California in February and March. (Climate Central)

Eight graphs that show how climate change is making the world more dangerous
Photo: Alex Brandon/AP
These charts will help convince anyone that regardless of what we do about current emissions, we must begin to prepare for the impacts of climate change now. Natural disasters are occurring nearly five times as often today as they were in the 1970s, especially flooding and hurricanes. Disasters were also 5.5 times more costly by 2010 - again, especially storms and floods - and heat waves are now a major cause of death in natural disasters, along with storms. (Guardian)
Climate-smart agriculture can fight food security and poverty

Climate-smart agriculture can help farmers maintain agricultural production, and reduce GHG emissions, while saving time and making money.  The journal Agriculture and Food Security has published an open-source article on strategies for building resilience, adaptation, and mitigation for the world's agricultural systems. (Link)

Case Studies and Examples
Cities turn to green bonds to finance resilient infrastructure

Cities such as New York and Washington, D.C., are issuing green bonds to finance infrastructure projects such as upgrading sewer systems to prevent overflows during storms. In D.C., reception has been strong, and green bonds have brought more investors than a normal bond. Major banks are also investing in green bonds, strengthening the market. Though green bonds only got started in the U.S. in 2013, by the end of 2014, total bond issuance is likely to reach $40 billion, with much of it going to infrastructure projects such as water systems, electrical grids, and transportation networks. (Next City)

Six of the best conclusions from SXSW Eco 2014
Photo: Michael Bocchieri/Getty

This week the city of Austin played host to SXSW Eco, the international conference on the future of sustainability, focusing on the future of cities and climate change. Conference attendees discussed whether it's possible to climate-proof cities, and why old forms of protections won't be enough. Successful projects of sustainable change rely on local communities being fully involved in the process and taking ownership. Because climate change can be a daunting and difficult to grasp threat, mitigation and adaptation projects should also deliver tangible, everyday benefits to well-being and health, so that more people embrace them. (Guardian)

Resources and Tools
Climate Impact Assessment: Water Management in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Basins

This report from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation presents an assessment of the climate impacts to water supply in the Central Valley (Sacramento, San Joaquin and Tulare Lake Basins). After providing an overview of historic and current conditions, the report uses projections developed from global climate models to evaluate how projected climatic and hydrologic changes could impact water availability, demand, and management within the study area. The report considers the impact of climate change within contexts assuming current trends of future urban growth, the conversion of agricultural to urban land use, and the continuation of current crop types in the Central Valley. Finally, the report assesses risks to eight major resource categories by examining a range of climate futures and attempting to book-end future uncertainties. (USBR)

Funding Opportunities
Cap and Trade Funding: Urban and Community Forestry

CalFire has released a grant solicitation for projects funded by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (the proceeds from cap and trade) for urban and community forestry. All projects are required to reduce GHG emissions, but many project types also have important adaptation benefits, such as urban tree planting project and reclaiming and restoring blighted, unused urban lands. Concept proposals will be due November 13, 2014. There will be six public workshops (TBA) on the grant solicitation. (Grant solicitation)

White House: Climate Action Champions Competition for Resilience and Mitigation

The White House is launching a competition focusing on community efforts that both reduce emissions and improve resilience. The competition will select 10-15 communities and provide them with targeted support and expert assistance, including tailored climate data and tools, extreme-weather preparedness exercises, and a coordinator. Applications are due on October 27 for the first phase of competition, which is for cities and towns that are already taking climate actions; later rounds focus on communities that have demonstrated motivation but have lacked the resources to get started. (blog, factsheet, application

Upcoming Events
SACOG: Open Houses on the Region's Transportation Future 
How should we balance the transportation needs and wants of a growing region? Attend an open house on the Metropolitan Transportation Plan from October 1 to November 5. (SACOG
Resilient Design: Transitioning to the New Built Environment

October 16, 2014, 9-10:15am PST

What happens if there is an extended power outage? How can you ensure buildings have access to electricity? Alex Wilson, Founder, BuildingGreen Inc. and Resilient Design Institute, will provide an overview of practical measures that can be implemented today to create more resilient buildings and communities. These measures include improvements to the energy performance of building envelopes, flood-proofing strategies, enhancing wind resistance, and providing access to water. (Register)

VERGE San Francisco 2014: Where tech meets sustainability

October 27-30, San Francisco

VERGE San Francisco is GreenBiz's flagship event, convening the most progressive companies, cities, and innovators to examine the technologies and systems to accelerate sustainability in a climate-constrained world. There are sessions focused on resilient cities, smart buildings and more. You can also request an invitation to City Summit, the full-day working session focused on how cities and the private sector are working together to achieve deep carbon reductions. Sign up using a special 10% off discount code VSF14LGC here:

Call for Proposals: National Adaptation Forum

The 2nd National Adaptation Forum is accepting proposals for symposia, training sessions, working groups, poster presentations, and a tools caf�. The theme is adaptation integration - making adaptation part of everything and breaking out of silos to create holistic, durable solutions. The Forum will take place May 12-14, 2015, in St. Louis, MO. All proposals are due by 11:59pm PST, October 24, 2014. (NAF)

Call for Papers: Michigan Journal of Sustainability

This online, open-access, peer-reviewed journal is seeking submissions for a special edition on preparing for and building resilience to climate change. The journal emphasizes the translation of research into formats that are useful and usable to practitioners and policy makers, and welcome submissions that bridge the science-policy divide. Manuscripts are due November 3, 2014 online; for more information see the guidelines

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: 

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.