Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
November 18, 2015
A biweekly newsletter of the Climate Readiness Collaborative

As California prepares for a wet and rainy El Niño winter, it must also think about drought. In a new executive order, Governor Jerry Brown asked state agencies to simultaneously prepare for a fifth year of drought and expedite projects to capture or store water and reduce flooding. Despite recent rains, 92 percent of the state remains in severe drought, and 70 percent in extreme drought. On the bright side, the snow pack in the Sierra Nevada is well above average for this time of the year, and many resorts are opening earlier than planned - great news for ski towns hit hard by last year's dry winter. 
News and Research
Why climate change and terrorism are connected
U.S. military officials refer to climate change as a "threat multiplier" and a root cause of instability that leads to widespread migration, damages infrastructure, and spreads disease. In Syria, the worst drought in history has impoverished farmers, increasing migration to cities and food prices, and ultimately creating an environment of uncertainty and instability in which militant groups can make inroads. (Time
Making climate change predictions part of U.S. foreign policy
Photo: Steve Helber_AP
Secretary of State John Kerry said he will convene a task force of senior government officials and outside experts to determine how to integrate climate change analysis and its national security implications into all future foreign policy planning. "If we can better identify the red flags of risk around the world, we can better target our diplomacy and development assistance to enable those nations to become more resilient and more secure - and less likely to devolve into a full-fledged war and humanitarian crisis," he said. (Washington Post)
World's climate about to enter 'uncharted territory' as it passes 1C of warming
Photo: Thibault Camus/Pool/Reuters
Three climate change records are set to be broken this year. The world is set to pass the milestone of 1C of warming since pre-industrial times by the end of 2015. 2015 is set to be the hottest year on record, beating past records by "a country mile" according to the UK's Met Office. Finally, 2016 will likely be the first year in which the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide is over 400ppm on average. (Guardian)
Groundwater recharge projects offer alternative water storage solution
Photo: Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times
Groundwater banking projects are growing in popularity across California, thanks in part to a new state law that limits over-pumping of major aquifers. These shallow basins will capture floodwater, and are easier to construct, cheaper, and less environmentally damaging than dams and reservoirs. They can also help rejuvenate riparian ecosystems. The challenges are that projects need to have the right soil through which the water can percolate, farmers must be willing to take land out of production, and there has to be a way of getting water to the recharge areas. (LA Times, Grist)

The sushi project: Farming fish and rice in California's fields

Innovative projects in California are using flooded rice fields to rear threatened species of Pacific salmon, mimicking the rich floodplains where juvenile salmon once thrived. Pilots have demonstrated that salmon raised in flooded rice fields benefit greatly and grow faster compared to fish released into the Sacramento River. This technique also shows promise for growing forage fish, which are increasingly threatened in the wild. (Yale 360)

The slow demise of California's golden trout

Commonly called "the most beautiful trout in the world," California's state fish live at 9,000 ft. in the narrow headwater streams of the Kern River. Their existence is now at risk to climate change impacts on the forest and freshwater ecosystems of the Sierra Nevada. (Salon

White House puts fire chiefs on front line of climate change

Photo: Andrew Harnik, AP
Vice President Biden met with fire chiefs and agencies from across the U.S. to discuss wildland-urban interface fire threats and identify further policy actions to enhance community resilience. Many fire experts recommend local and federal incentives to build farther from forest-prone areas; a 2006 USDA study found that defense of private property accounts for 50 to 95 percent of the cost of wildfire suppression. According to a Forest Service study, efforts to thin forests around communities may actually subsidize the cost of building homes there. (USA Today)

2015 a year for record-breaking storms

It's been a big year for hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones, which are just different names for the same kind of storm. According to a measurement called ACE, or accumulated cyclone energy, this has been the second-most active year on record, bested only by 1992. Globally, there have been 23 Category 4 and 5 (the strongest) storms this year, an all-time high that beats the old record of 18 set in 1997 and 2004. (Bloomberg)

Double-digit growth for wind and solar energy predicted for 2016

Photo: 2013 File Photo, Zuma Press
While fossil fuel production drops in the U.S., solar and wind power are booming due to cheaper technology and financing costs. Texas leads the U.S. in wind power, which supplies about 10% of its power, while California, Nevada, and North Carolina are the top solar states. Renewable energy is expected to continue growing strongly in the coming year, especially as solar expands from its traditional base of home rooftop panels to major utility-scale production. (Link)
Resources and Tools
Planning for a More Resilient Future: A Guide to Regional Approaches
This NADO Research Foundation report summarizes the rapidly growing body of research on resilience, describing the main ideas that are driving policy and practice across the country and examining current thinking on regional and economic resilience. It is intended for communities at risk from or already impacted by natural and human-induced disasters. (Link)
Why go regional? A Regional Resilience Primer
The first of the Institute for Sustainable Communities' regional resilience guidance series, the Regional Resilience Primer outlines the advantages and challenges of regional multi-jurisdictional approaches to resilience. The primer also profiles 12 regional collaboratives from across the U.S., including the five California regions, that attended the ISC's Think Resiliently, Act Regionally workshop in October 2014. (Report
Upcoming Opportunities
Job opening: Statewide Local Government Energy Efficiency Best Practices Coordinator
The Local Government Commission (LGC) is recruiting to fill the Statewide Local Government Energy Efficiency Best Practices Coordinator position for the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative. This position will focus on assisting local governments to meet goals within the California Long-term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan. The coordinator is responsible for developing and disseminating local government energy efficiency best practices, tracking statewide progress, facilitating partnerships between local government staff, and more. Application deadline is open until the position is filled. (More information)
Urban Waters Small Grant to address urban runoff
EPA's Urban Waters Small Grants Program helps community organizations, particularly those in underserved communities, restore their urban waters in ways that also benefit community and economic revitalization. For the 2015/2016 grant cycle, EPA seeks to fund projects that address urban runoff pollution through diverse partnerships that produce multiple community benefits, with emphasis on underserved communities. Proposals are due November 20, 2015. (EPA)
100 Resilient Cities Challenge
Funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, the challenge seeks to find 100 cities worldwide that are ready to build resilience to the social, economic, and physical challenges of climate change. Cities will receive funding to hire a Chief Resilience Officer, assistance in developing a resilience strategy, access to innovative tools, and more. The application deadline is Nov. 24. (Link)
Upcoming Events

Webinar: How the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit can support local planning and decisions for enhanced community resilience

Thursday, November 19, 9-10am PST

Part of an Antioch University and U.S. EPA webinar series on climate resilience, this session will walk participants through the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit's 5-step planning process and provide examples of its use. See past recordings here. (Register: password is "resilience")

New Funding Strategies to Fuel Smart Growth Successes Workshop

Friday, November 20, 9am-noon

CSU East Bay - Conference Center, Oakland

Join local elected leaders, city and county staff, and other public and private community development practitioners in this free workshop as we dive into innovative strategies and tools for getting good projects, big and small, on the ground. Be the first to see the Local Government Commission's new "Smart-Growth Money: New Funding Strategies for Community Improvements" guidebook. You'll hear from speakers on model projects from around the state and beyond and ways to address potential barriers. (Register)

Webinar: Let's Talk Climate: Messages to Motivate Americans

Friday, November 20, 9-10am PST

71% of Americans believe that climate change is happening, but 68% believe that it's risky to admit their views on the issue if they differ from those of friends and family. EcoAmerica's new report Let's Talk Climate: Messages to Motivate Americans aims to help America start a new conversation on climate change. It delivers rigorously tested words, phrases, and narratives that link climate change to mainstream American values. The findings include personally relevant messages and will help your organization communicate successfully on the impacts - and opportunities - of climate change. The report will be released Nov. 13. (Register)

Region Rising: An inaugural collaborative conference

November 20, Sacramento

Region Rising is dedicated to dreaming big about what our region's future will be, and having challenging discussions on how each of us can bring it to life, now. The goal is to create one massive collision spot where more than 1,000 people come together from all areas to mix and collaborate in an idea-rich, high-value series of conversations that turn ideas into action. It is a day dedicated to helping us all better understand how and why we arrived at this point, and what we ought to do to make it even better - for everyone. (Register)

Resilient Cities Webinar - Urban Resilience and Adaptation at COP21

November 23, 2015, 3-4 CET

For the fourth year, the Resilient Cities Webinar Series brings together experts and local government practitioners to continue conversations initiated at the Resilient Cities congress and explore new directions in the field of urban adaptation and resilience. This webinar will introduce the Lima-Paris Action Agenda (LPAA), the City of Dakar's resilience strategy, and discuss the expected outcomes and commitments for resilience from COP21 and the final Paris Agreement. Join the webinar a week before the Paris negotiations begin to learn about the urban resilience agenda at COP21! (Register)

IEPR Workshop on the Revised Transportation Energy Demand Forecasts

Tuesday, November 24, 2015, 10am

California Energy Commission, 1516 9th St., Sacramento

As part of the 2015 Integrated Energy Policy Report, the Energy Commission will present, discuss, and solicit public comments on the revised energy demand forecasts for petroleum-based and alternative fuels and technologies used in the transportation sector. (More Info)

ARCCA Webinar: Building Business Resiliency

Wednesday, December 2, noon-1pm PST

A growing number of major global companies are assessing climate risks to their business, but many still struggle to translate climate data into actions to improve resilience. Join the Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation (ARCCA) for a Learning Session on Valley Vision's exciting business resiliency project for the Capital Region, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions' new report on strategies for companies to build resilience, and a case study of PG&E's response to climate change. Participants will learn about how businesses think about climate change and how to engage businesses to build resilience. (Register)

Registration for New Partners for Smart Growth is now open!

February 11-13, 2016, Portland, Oregon

The 15th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference will focus on practical tools and innovative strategies for creating great communities, and will include more than 80 plenaries, breakouts, focused trainings, experiential learning opportunities, and implementation workshops. Climate change-related topics include regional collaboration (featuring the CRC and ARCCA), green infrastructure, integration with hazard mitigation planning, community solar, and more. Early-bird rates are available through December 4th. (Register)

The Business of Local Energy Symposium

March 4, 2016, San Jose, CA

The Center for Climate Protection, the Local Government Commission and the Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition is organizing an all-day symposium to accelerate California's shift to a clean energy economy, driven by local government and business. The Symposium provides a forum to exchange ideas about Community Choice Energy programs, and to learn about current energy policy, regulations, markets, and technology. Help accelerate the wave of local renewables sweeping California. Please join us on March 4, 2016 in San Jose for the Business of Local Energy Symposium. (RSVP)
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: