Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
July 1, 2015
A biweekly newsletter of the Climate Readiness Collaborative.


The Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative would like to wish you a happy Fourth of July!  

News and Research
Climate change could undo global health advances by 50 years
Photo: ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images

Climate change brings an "unacceptably high and potentially catastrophic risk to human health," says a major new report from the medical journal the Lancet. The report updates the research on climate and health, and argues that health has been neglected in the climate change debate. It calls for doctors and other health professionals to take a leading role. "When climate change is framed as a health issue, rather than purely as an environmental, economic, or technological challenge, it becomes clear that we are facing a predicament that strikes at the heart of humanity." Nevertheless, the report is positive, emphasizing the vast health benefits from fighting climate change. (Washington Post)

Act now on climate change to avoid billions in economic losses, says EPA
Photo: Mark Ralston/Agence France-Presse - Getty Images

A global agreement to curb GHG emissions would prevent nearly 70,000 premature American deaths annually by the end of the century while sparing the country hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of economic losses, according to a major 5-year study by the EPA on the costs of climate change. With timely action, every region of the US could be spared severe economic disruptions, but inaction could lead to up to $180 billion in economic losses, including infrastructure costs, agricultural losses, and more. (NY Times)

California's drought can provide solutions for the world

Photo: Ted Soqui/Corbis

Globally, drought affects more than 1.5 million people in developing countries, and aquifers are running low around the world. With the world's seventh-largest economy, a forward-thinking governor, and leading research universities, California can develop leading solutions for drought and water management. Researchers at CalTech plan to explore three areas: technology to capture and recover water, sensors to measure how much water is actually available, and models to help manage water systems. (Wired)

Hoppy beers under threat from climate change

Photo: Courtesy of Smuttynose Brewing Company

Breweries around the US are increasingly realizing they must respond to climate impacts such as extreme heat, droughts, and storms. Water is one of the four main ingredients of beer, and in California, some companies have had to cut down on production due to limited availability. Warmer weather and extreme weather are also hurting hops, which are mainly grown in the Pacific Northwest in the U.S., with the price of hops increasing 250 percent in the last decade. Industry observers predict only the greenest craft breweries will survive. (NPR

Only 10% of water utilities see climate change as a significant issue

Photo: Katherine Tweed

However, 40% of non-utility stakeholders surveyed said that climate change was a significant concern, according to a water industry report. About half of the surveyed water utilities said they had assessed the vulnerability of their assets, but only 15% included climate change factors. For most utilities, addressing climate change means investing in water conservation and energy management and assessing protection for vulnerable facilities. The report recommends that utilities strengthen their management of water demand, develop more stable water sources, and devise rate structures to generate stable revenues. (GreenTech Media)

How the world is responding to Pope Francis's urgent call to action
Photo: ViktorCap/iStock

By framing the environment as a core Catholic advocacy issue, the highest teaching authority in the church is making this a priority for Catholics. But few priests or bishops - other than in parts of Latin America - used their own pulpits on Sunday to pass on the pope's message. Despite the urgent call to action in Francis' document and the international attention it received, it will take some time to know whether Catholic clergy are familiar or comfortable enough with its themes to preach them to the faithful. (NYTimes, Slate)

Reflections on the 2nd National Adaptation Forum

Compared to the first National Forum in 2013, the 2015 edition was not only larger, but also more diverse in terms of attendees and subject matter, with a much greater emphasis on public sector and urban topics. Equity in adaptation was another outstanding element of the program, with a number of key sessions highlighting the risks to vulnerable populations as well as case studies highlighting successful engagement campaigns from diverse communities. (Link)

Federal government announces partnership to restore California headwaters

The USDA launched a new partnership focused on conserving and restoring the Sierra-Cascade California Headwaters, which provides 25 million Californians with drinking water and much of the water for irrigated agriculture in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys. The partnership will invest at least $210 million in combined resources towards restoration to help improve water quality and quantity, promote healthy forests, and reduce wildfire risk in the Sierra-Cascade California Headwaters region. (Link)

Employment Opportunity
Local Government Commission Seeks Regional Coordinators for CivicSpark

CivicSpark is seeking Encore Fellows to serve as Regional Coordinators. Encore Fellowships are paid, time-limited fellowships that match skilled, experienced professionals with social-purpose organizations in high-impact assignments. Each CivicSpark Encore Fellow will spend 1,000 hours over a 13-month period supervising a team of 3-8 AmeriCorps Members, managing partner relationships, and providing support to project management and implementation. Encore Fellows would act as an integral part of the CivicSpark team, supporting the AmeriCorps members and coordinating closely with LGC staff in Sacramento to ensure the program is implemented successfully in the region. We are currently looking for applicants for teams in Fresno, Sacramento, Truckee, and San Luis Obispo. (Application form)

Resources and Tools
CivicSpark: Helping local governments on climate change and sustainability

CivicSpark is an AmeriCorps initiative that supports local governments in their climate change and sustainability work. In its first year, CivicSpark members have been supporting urban forestry for disadvantaged communities in South Sacramento, building community engagement on climate action in Davis, evaluating the Yolo County climate action plan, and analyzing the regional transportation infrastructure's vulnerabilities to climate risks. If you are a local government looking for additional capacity and support on your climate change projects, please consider hiring a CivicSpark member on a 3- or 6-month, or full-year basis. Learn more about how the program works; applications for the 2015 to 2016 service year are now open. 

Marin County partners launch app to track climate action progress

A partnership of 16 jurisdictions in Marin has launched a new interactive tracker to measure progress made by local governing bodies, residents, and businesses toward reducing GHG emissions and increasing sustainable practices. The Marin Sustainability Tracker tracks 12 metrics such as community and household energy consumption, the rate of solar installation, and water consumption. It allows for friendly competition between cities and reveals areas for improvement: for example, household energy usage has hardly declined since 2005. (Link

Case studies from EPA's Greening America's Capital Program

Greening America's Capitals is an EPA program that provides design assistance to help state capitals develop an implementable vision of environmentally friendly neighborhoods that incorporate innovative green infrastructure strategies and protect the environment, economy, and public health. In the fourth round of the program, four state capitols received assistance on projects that turn a parking lot into a public park, increase neighborhood mobility, and improve street mobility, all incorporating green infrastructure that reduce flooding and improve water quality. Read more about these and other Greening America's Capitals projects. (EPA

Funding Opportunities
Northern California Clean Cities Funding Workshop
July 9, 8:30am-2:30pm
Clubhouse at Paradise Valley, 3990 Paradise Valley Rd., Fairfield

The Northern California Clean Cities Funding Workshop will feature grant funding from EPA, Department of Energy, California Energy Commission, Air Resources Board, Air Districts, and innovative financing opportunities. Funding opportunities will be discussed by speakers from the federal, state, and local levels. (Clean Cities)  

USDA: Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)

The RCPP will make $235 million available to improve water quality, fight drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat, and promote agricultural viability. The program enables partnerships between agricultural producers, local governments, business, academia, non-profits, and landowners to develop conservation projects tailored specifically for their community. This is the second round of funding; the first round supported projects to convert flood irrigation systems to more efficient systems with integrated hydropower, restore working forests, and reduce fertilizer runoff in Lake Erie. Pre-proposals are due July 8, 2015. (USDA)  

Global Green Releases RFP to Cities for Sustainable Neighborhood Planning

Global Green is now accepting applications for no-cost technical assistance to help communities build greener, more equitable, and more vibrant neighborhoods and increase resilience to extreme weather events. Examples from previous communities include affordable housing development or renovation, public housing redevelopment through Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, urban design and green infrastructure upgrades related to combined sewer overflow mitigation, light rail or bus rapid transit stations, new urban parks, eco district formation, and modifications to increase resilience to extreme weather events. Eligible applicants are local and tribal governments. The deadline for applications is July 17, 2015, at midnight PST. (Global Green)

Upcoming Events
Webinar: The Economic Risks of Climate Change in California
Tuesday, July 14, 11am-12:30pm

Join the Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation (ARCCA) and the Risky Business Project for a webinar diving into Risky Business' economic risk assessment of climate change in California with the lead author of the California report, Jamesine Rogers, and Risky Business' Communications Director, Tan Copsey. Learn about the advantages of taking a risk-based approach to climate change, how to best engage the business community in pursuit of shared goals, and how ARCCA member regional collaboratives are working to advance climate resilience and adaptation. (Register)

Strategic Growth Council: Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Lessons Learned Workshop
Tuesday, July 14, 1-4pm
CalEPA Sierra Hearing Room, 2nd Floor

Find out more information at the Strategic Growth Council website. (Link)

EPA Webinar: Communicating the Connection between Climate Change and Heat Health

Wednesday, July 22, 11am-12:30pm

This webinar will explore how public health and environmental professionals can effectively communicate and leverage the connections among climate change, the heat island effect, and public health to raise awareness among the public and to promote progress on these issues. Topics covered include: EPA's new framework for local governments on communications and outreach; George Mason University's recommendations for effective messaging on climate and health; the American Public Health Association's strategies, tools, and resources for effective communication; and Minnesota's experience communicating these connections through their Climate and Health program. (Register)

Preventing HealthCARE from becoming healthHARM
Thursday, July 23, 8am-4pm
UC San Francisco at Mission Bay

This workshop will identify connections between the environmental impacts of healthcare and its effects on human health. Join us to learn what healthcare professionals can do to make a difference. Presentation topics include the impact of climate change on health, how healthcare organizations are taking action to reduce their environmental impact, and more. Breakout sessions will focus on practical actions and sharing of best practices such as sustainable food, hospital waste, reprocessing of single-used devices, reusable linens, and a tour of the new LEED-gold medical center at Mission Bay. (More info and registration)

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: