Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
February 10, 2016
A biweekly newsletter of the Climate Readiness Collaborative

We would like to invite you to attend our upcoming Quarterly Meeting, which will focus on existing El Ni�o conditions, flood risks, and preparedness at the local and state levels. If you have time, we would also love to have you join us for a networking brown bag lunch, taking place just before the event, to share updates and initiatives around the region.

We'd also like to welcome our newest member, Propel Fuels, a leading retailer of biodiesel and E85 Flex Fuel, with several fueling stations around the Capital Region. Propel Fuels delivers greenhouse gas and air quality benefits to diverse California communities, and we look forward to working with them!  
News and Research
The U.S. is setting new energy milestones
Photo: Joe McNally/National Geographic
Signaling a shift in U.S. electricity generation, coal reached a historic low in its share of electricity production (34%), while renewable energy led the way in newly built generation, making up 68% of all new capacity (16 GW). Energy productivity is also growing, as GDP increases while energy use goes down. Greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector declined 4.5% from 2014 and are now 18% below 2005 levels, over halfway to Obama's goal of a 32% cut by 2030. (National Geographic, Bloomberg)
El Ni�o's break from California could melt our snowpacks
Snowpacks across the state are currently above average, thanks to El Ni�o storms, but a high-pressure ridge coming into the state for at least a week is bringing back the hot, dry weather that characterizes the severe, ongoing drought. Just seven days of sustained warmth could melt as much as 30% of the current snowpack. (Climate Central
Pentagon issues marching orders on climate change
The Pentagon issued a document asking armed service chiefs and top civilian officials to identify how climate change will affect their missions, determine how to manage the risks, and factor those into their planning. It gives specific tasks to various Dept. of Defense offices and regional commands, from determining how higher sea levels or longer droughts affect US bases to what new gear might be needed to work in a thawing Arctic. Retired real admiral David Titley noted that this was a significant step, as it links high-level strategy with a daily to-do list. (Vice)
How climate change endangers microbes - and why that's not a good thing
Photo: Minami Himemiya/Wikimedia under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Microbes play critical roles in biogeochemical cycling, plant productivity, human health, and even climate itself. They produce much of the oxygen we breathe. We cannot begin to predict how the earth would function without 16% of them, and this is in no small part because we haven't even tried. More research is needed into the likely impacts of climate change on microbes, although it may be too late for many already. (Scientific American

Climate data now key to disaster preparedness

Photo: U.S. Coast Guard via Flickr
By using climate forecasts, FEMA has begun pre-positioning resources before a disaster strikes. The biggest hurdle, experts say, is getting people to listen to their warnings, including convincing local governments, businesses, and homeowners to make buildings and infrastructure more resilient, and evacuate when asked. (Inside Climate News)

Climate change may be culprit in mysterious, mass animals die-offs

In 2015 in Kazakhstan, more than half of the world's entire population of saiga antelope died in less than a month. In Alaska, tens of thousands of seabirds starved to death, unable to find their normal fish in the unusually warm waters. Around the world, many recent mass animal die-offs can be tied to a common cause: the animals' environments are changing, and they're struggling to keep up.  This is important not only for the species themselves but also has implications for entire ecosystems. (Washington Post)

More fear, less fun: Climate change will erode middle class wealth

Photo: REUTERS/Stringer
In a study of middle-class consumption in 215 cities around the world, Swiss bank group UBS AG analysts found spending priorities were noticeably different in cities most at risk from climate change such as Los Angeles, Tokyo and Shanghai. Residents in top-risk cities spent more on property maintenance, and less on entertainment, leisure, and durable goods. The political and social clout of middle-class populations means their vulnerability to climate risks should translate into pressure on governments to tackle global warming. (Yahoo)

The urban planner's guide to a post-COP21 world

Now more than ever, there is an international consensus that cities and regions around the world need to play a leading role in climate mitigation and adaptation. The UN roadmap for cities, the Lima-Paris Action Agenda, highlights four primary objectives for cities to set climate targets, build resilience, increase funding, and support multi-party and cross-level collaborations. Working with collaborative networks like the Compact of Mayors and the private sector, cities are able to move ahead of their national governments on innovative climate action, but financing is an immense challenge for all cities.  (Next City)
Resources and Tools
Regional Governance for Climate Action
The Institute of Sustainable Communities interviewed three climate collaboratives to provide practical insights and emerging strategies to build or expand governance structures for regional climate action. It examines what it means to be a formal entity, the various forms a collaborative can take, and the ways that decisions on stakeholders, goals, and strategy can drive the structure and membership of a collaborative. (ISC)
Upcoming Opportunities
Science and Technology Policy Fellowship
The California Council of Science and Technology's Science and Technology Policy Fellowship provides a unique professional development opportunity to scientists and engineers. The fellowships are ideal for applicants who are interested in improving the interface between science and legislative decision-making. Deadline: February 29, 2016. (CCST)
Cap and Trade: Affordable Housing and Sustainability Program (AHSC)
The AHSC Program will fund projects that will achieve GHG emissions reductions and benefit disadvantaged communities by supporting compact, infill growth patterns, encouraging active transportation and transit usage, and protecting agricultural land from sprawl development. Concept proposals are due by Wednesday, March 16, at 5pm. (SGC)
Cap and Trade: Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program (SALCP)
The SALCP is accepting applications for $40 million in grants to fund the purchase of agricultural conservation easements development of agricultural land strategy plans, and other mechanisms that result in GHG reductions and a more resilient agricultural sector. Final applications are due May 2. (Department of Conservation)
Access Vulnerability of California's Transportation Fuel Sector to Extreme Weather - Related Events and Identify Resilience Options
This opportunity will fund research that provide an initial assessment of the vulnerability of California's transportation fuel sector to current and projected extreme weather events, in close collaboration with petroleum sector stakeholders, in order to identify resilience options, implementation strategies, and priorities for further investigation. The research will also consider opportunities for coping with barriers (financial and otherwise) to adaptation. A pre-application workshop will take place on Feb. 16, at 1pm. (More information)
Upcoming Events

Can Climate Change Break the Global Food System?

Thursday, February 11, noon-2pm PST

This panel of leading food security experts will discuss the role of public- and private-sector stakeholders as population grows, standards of living rise, and the need to produce more food places new demands on global leaders and our planet. Our experts will dive into issues such as trade, climate, and security, and make recommendations to help ensure the security and stability of the global food system. Webcast live at

Webinar: The Power of Messaging

Thursday, February 11, 10-11.30am PST

This Dept. of Energy webinar will discuss best practices and case examples for developing impactful messaging and storytelling for residential energy efficiency programs. (Register)

The Climate and Air Pollution Impacts of the Natural Gas Transition

Thursday, February 11, noon-1pm PST

UC Center Sacramento, Room LL3, 1130 K Street, Sacramento

This talk will be given by Jennifer Burney, Assistant Professor at the School of Global Policy & Strategy at the University of California, San Diego. (Register)

Webinar: Creative Placemaking in Transportation Planning

Wednesday, February 17, 12.30pm PST

Creative placemaking is an emerging approach that engages the arts, culture, and creativity, especially from underrepresented communities, in planning and designing projects, so that the resulting communities better reflect and celebrate local culture, heritage, and values. Join Smart Growth America for the release of its new online interactive placemaking resource. (Register)

2016 Philomathia Forum: Cities and People - Responding to Climate Change

February 18, 8am-5pm, Sutardia Dai Hall, University of California at Berkeley

This forum will bring together leading urban climatologists, planners, and designers to explore state-of-the-art strategies for adaptation and mitigation. It will identify best planning and design strategies of mitigation and adaptation in different climates and city types to better combat climate threats to urban public health. This event will be followed by the BERC Energy Summit on Feb. 19, which will feature panels on natural gas in the electricity sector, distributed energy, clean transport, the Paris Agreement, and more. (Register)

American Water Resources Association Webinars on Climate Adaptation

Feb. 24 and March 16, 10am PST

On Feb. 24, the City of Santa Monica, NOAA, and the Western Regional Climate Center will discuss drought response and governance. On March 16, CH2M Hill and the Water Environment Research Foundation will present on climate adaptation and wastewater infrastructure challenges. (AWRA)

Webinar: Sea Level Rise and the Southeast Florida Climate Change Compact

Wednesday, March 2, 10am-noon PST

Jim Murley, chief resilience officer for Miami-Dade County in southeast Florida, will explain how the county has worked with regional partners, federal and state agencies, and experts from around the world to develop a plan for addressing sea level rise in one of the most vulnerable locations in the U.S. (Register)

CRC Quarterly Meeting: Focus on Flooding

Thursday, March 3, noon-3pm

West Sacramento Community Center, 1075 W. Capitol Ave, West Sacramento

The Capital Region is particularly vulnerable to extreme weather patterns and flood risks. At this meeting we will discuss current El Ni�o conditions and flood preparedness at the state and local levels. (Register)

Visionary: Drought-Proofing California for a Water-Secure Future

Thursday, March 3, 5.30pm

Crocker Art Museum, 216 O Street, Sacramento

Journalist James Workman will speak on drought-proofing California and his award-winning book Heart of Dryness: How the Last Bushmen Can Help Us Endure the Coming Age of Permanent Drought. As a "Drought Doctor," Workman has advised businesses, aid agencies, civic associations, governments, and more on water scarcity and climate adaptation. (Register)

The Business of Local Energy Symposium: Optimizing Community Choice

March 4, 2016, San Jose, CA

The Center for Climate Protection is organizing this all-day symposium to exchange ideas about Community Choice Energy Programs, and to learn about current energy policy, regulations, markets, and technology. Topics include: critical elements of successful Community Choice programs; designing programs that drive economic development; opportunities and challenges of developing distributed energy resources; policy and regulatory trends; top local energy and efficiency programs; and more. (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: