Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
May 6, 2015
A biweekly newsletter of the Climate Readiness Collaborative.


The Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative welcomes Governor Brown's historic new Executive Order B-30-15, which establishes the most ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction target in North America - 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2030. It also marks an important step forward in preparing California for the impacts of climate change. The executive order asks state government to incorporate climate impacts into the Five-Year Infrastructure Plan as well as state planning and investment decisions. It also asks for updates of the Safeguarding California plan to identify how climate change will affect California infrastructure and industry, and actions that the state can take to reduce these risks.


Along with bills such as AB 1482, SB 246, SB 379, SB 350 and SB 32 currently in state legislature, this executive order will send an important signal that California is serious about sustained progress on climate action beyond 2020. Rapid developments in technologies such as solar energy show that the Sacramento region can boost its local economy and increase energy independence and resiliency, all while reducing GHG emissions. We look forward to helping support the Capital Region's actions to build climate preparedness, as well as furthering the state's goals and strategies through our participation in the statewide resilience collaborative, ARCCA. 

News and Research
Drought not expected to significantly impact Californian economy

According to a report from the Legislative Analyst's Office, the main effects of the drought have been on the agricultural sector, which makes up 2 percent of the state economy and 3 or 4 percent of the workforce. However, agriculture is the bedrock of the economy in some parts of the state, and an increase in prices will affect consumers. The biggest potential risk is a continuing drought that slows down the home-building industry. The drought could also hurt consumer confidence and affect tourism to the state. (SacBee)

Wildfires responsible for more carbon emissions than expected
Photo: Mark Rightmire/ZUMA

A new study from the National Park Service and UC Berkeley estimates that wildfires and deforestation are contributing more than expected to California's greenhouse gas emissions. As wildfires are predicted to increase for the western US, these results could have implications for meeting AB 32 targets, which assumes no net emissions from wild land ecosystems by 2020. California's forests hold a great deal of carbon - 850 million tons - but that carbon is released when forests are lost to deforestation or wildfire. Carbon loss from forests and wild lands was as high as 5 to 7 percent of California emissions between 2001 and 2010. (Mother Jones)

Community solar gardens springing up around the country

Photo: AP

Also known as community or shared solar, community solar gardens allow customers who lack the roof space (like renters) or can't afford solar on their own to participate in solar energy. The community project sells electricity to the local utility, and participating customers will receive a credit on their utility bills. In late January, California issued community solar regulations that require the state's three large utilities to contract for 600 MW of capacity. (US News

SMUD to participate in innovative shared solar program

Photo: SunShot Initiative

Shared solar programs allow a greater portion of the community, not just homeowners with ample roof space, to benefit from solar energy. One of 15 projects selected for funding by the Department of Energy's Solar Market Pathways program, Extensible Energy will be working with SMUD to develop new market-based business models for community solar. The project will increase the scale, reach, and value of community solar programs through strategic solar technologies and design, prioritizing local sites, and integrating demand response and energy storage. (DoE)

Sac State builds solar "Reflect Home" or Department of Energy competition

Check out Sac State's entry for the Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, a solar home that integrates outdoor and indoor living spaces and is ultra-efficient and affordable. The project brings together students from multiple departments and disciplines to design, fund, and build the house, which will compete with entries from universities across the US in October 2015. (DoE, Solar Decathlon)

Solar coming soon to Sacramento International Airport
Photo: Sarina Dayal

The airport plans to install 7 megawatts of solar panels that could potentially save $15 million in the next 20 years. It will reduce its power by 15 percent by 2020. As of now, the airport spends $3.4 million each year on electricity. So far, 14 vendors have responded to a request for proposals, and the solar panels will aim to be operational in summer or fall 2016. (Link)

California's utilities will offer 100% renewable energy to customers

Over 80% of California residents and businesses will soon be able to buy 100% renewable electricity from their utilities. A California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) decision directs the state's three big investor-owned utilities - PG&E, Southern California Edison, and SDG&E - to offer a Green-e Energy-certified 100% renewable energy option to their customers. The utilities are encouraged to develop a range of renewable energy options to fit all income levels. The CPUC also approved a PG&E program that will charge 2 to 3 cents more per kilowatt-hour in exchange for 50 or 100% solar energy. The program will allow customers who cannot install their own solar panels to support solar energy, which will come from newly developed small and mid-sized projects within its service area. (Dept. of Energy)

Funding Opportunities
Electricity Sector Vulnerability Studies and Adaptation Options to Promote Resilience in a Changing Climate

This grant funding opportunity will fund applied research and development projects that reduce the environmental and public health impacts of electricity generation and protect the electricity system from climate impacts. The studies supported by this solicitation should foster proactive adaptation efforts and management strategies to address climate variability, integrate consideration of resilience into energy system. Research should help support the implementation of adaptation strategies and development of decision-support tools that will enhance the resilience. Deadline: May 26, 2015, 3pm (CEC)

Regional Climate Impacts and Adaptation Studies for the Natural Gas System and Other Environmental Related Issues

Support research that addresses natural gas sector climate resilience policy, implementation, and management needs as articulated in the Energy Commission's 2014 Integrated Energy Policy Report, the Climate Change Research Plan, and Safeguarding California. Deadline: May 26, 2015, 3pm. (CEC)

Upcoming Events
A Community Forum on Cap and Trade
Thursday, May 7, 6-8pm
Guild Theater, 2828 35th St., Sacramento

Learn about the cap and trade program and the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. Tell us how you'd like to see this money used to make your community a healthier place. Free but RSVP required. (Register)

National Adaptation Forum 2015
May 12-14, 2015, St. Louis, Missouri

The National Adaptation Forum is the biennial gathering of the adaptation community to foster information exchange, innovation, and mutual support. At the Forum, participants learn how to make their work climate-informed, share what they have learned with others, and develop a stronger network of collaborative peers. The 2015 program focuses on integrating adaptation into all activities and breaking out of silos to create holistic, durable solutions. (Register)

CivicSpark Project Recruitment Webinar
May 19, 2015, 11:00am

Learn more about partnering with CivicSpark to implement community projects during our next Project Recruitment Webinar on May 19, 2015 11:00am PDT. Register in advance at: Project Recruitment Webinar

Webinar Series: Building Social Resilience in Climate 

Wednesdays May 27-June 24, noon-1:10pm PDT

This webinar series will provide tools and resources to integrate social vulnerability into climate adaptation and help participants make connections between urban vulnerable communities and rural landscape changes. Water scarcity, water pollution, and flooding are all upstream climate impacts that will disproportionately affect those least able to adapt in downstream urban areas. In this opening webinar, join panelists from the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program and the Gullah/Geechee Nation in exploring the importance of understanding social vulnerability and resilience. The subsequent four sessions will dive deeper into some of the key practice areas for social vulnerability: community engagement, indicators for social vulnerability, conducting social vulnerability assessments, and strategic communications. (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 serve, visit: