Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
March 23, 2016
A biweekly newsletter of the Climate Readiness Collaborative

As ARB is hosting a workshop on their 2030 strategy on natural and working lands this week, this issue of the newsletter highlights just a few of the ways in which natural lands help us address climate change. As California maps out its plans to reduce GHG emissions and increase climate resilience, close collaboration between our urban and rural stakeholders is a critical part of that strategy to ensuring that our forests, watersheds, and rangelands receive the investments and funding they need to support their resilience - and ours.  
News and Research
Global warming taking place at an alarming rate
Photo: Max Whittaker/Getty Images
Releasing its Status of the Global Climate report, the World Meteorological Organization detailed an alarming list of climate and weather records that were broken in 2015, including global temperature records, exceptional rainfall, devastating droughts, unusual cyclone activity and intense heatwaves. "The year 2015 will stand out in the historical record of the global climate in many ways," said WMO secretary-general Petteri Taalas. (Guardian
February breaks global temperature records by "completely unprecedented" amount
February smashed a century of global temperature records by a "stunning" margin, according to NASA. The unprecedented leap led scientists, usually wary of highlighting a single month's temperature, to label the new record a "shocker" and warn of a "climate emergency". (Guardian)
California reservoirs give hope of eased conservation requirements
California's two largest reservoirs, Shasta and Oroville, finally reached their historic averages for the first time since 2013 - no small achievement considering the historic lows they had to recover from. The much smaller Folsom Lake has been at average levels since February, just two months after it reached a historic low. The total statewide reservoir supply is only at 78 percent of average, and there is no guarantee further storms will arrive. (Sac Bee
The emerging role of California's natural landscapes in combating climate change
Photo: Kit Batten
If you weren't able to attend, here is a summary of the Natural Climate Solutions Symposium hosted by The Nature Conservancy and the UC Davis Policy Institute for Energy, Environment, and the Economy. After a surprise appearance from Governor Brown, speakers discussed both the challenges - California's lands are currently a carbon source and not a sink - and courses of action needed to better incorporate natural lands management into state climate change mitigation and adaptation policy. (UC Davis)

Why restoring nature could be the key to fighting climate change

A new study in Nature offers the strongest evidence yet that biodiversity strengthens ecosystems, increasing their resilience to extreme climate events and improving their capacity to mitigate climate change. Comparing 46 grassland ecosystems in Europe and North America, researchers found that ecosystems with only 1-2 species produced on average 50% less biomass during extreme climate events, while communities with 16-32 species were much more resilient. The study shows how biodiversity loss can reduce the carbon storage potential of forests and grasslands not at risk of deforestation and conversion. (Time)

How 'natural geoengineering' can help slow climate change

Photo: Oleg Znamenskiy via Shutterstock
An overlooked strategy to fight climate change is enhancing biodiversity to maximize the ability of ecosystems to store carbon. Key to that strategy is preserving top predators to control the populations of herbivores, whose overgrazing on forests and in oceans reduces carbon storage capacity. Mounting evidence shows that one or a few species, as an integral part of a larger food web, can impact carbon exchange between ecosystems and the atmosphere. (Yale 360)

Overhunting of large, fruit-eating animals threaten forest carbon storage

A healthy population of big, fruit-eating, seed-dispersing mammals is vital to forest health and forest carbon storage by helping large-seeded trees associated with high wood density to reproduce. Overhunting of large mammals such as monkeys mean that big hardwood trees are being replaced with softwood trees, which store less carbon. At a conservative estimate, 5.8% of the Amazon forest's above-ground carbon stock could be lost if vulnerable fruit-eating species are over-hunted, and in some forests the rate was as high as 37%. (Guardian)  

Madrid's sweeping plan to adapt to the urban heat island

Photo: Fast Co-Exist
In Madrid, pretty much every unused space will soon be covered in plants. The city is spending millions to expand existing parks, as many roofs and walls will be covered with greenery as possible, and paved squares will become parks that will suck up rainfall. Current research shows that nature-based solutions can result in multiple co-benefits for health, the economy, society, and the environment, and can often represent more efficient and cost-effective solutions than more traditional approaches. (Fast Co.Exist)

Without fanfare or subsidies, Uruguay transitions to 95% renewable energy

In less than 10 years, Uruguay has slashed its carbon footprint, reaching 95% renewable electricity generation without subsidies or new hydropower. In fact, consumer costs have gone down while reliability and electricity exports have increased. The keys to success were clear decision-making, a supportive regulatory environment, and strong public-private partnerships. (Guardian)
Healthy Landscapes 2030: California's Climate Change Vision and Goals for Natural Working Lands
Natural and working lands are an integral part of California's climate change strategy, for carbon storage as well as for critical ecosystem services and co-benefits such as water storage and climate adaptation. This discussion paper presents initial concepts for California's 2030 climate change strategy for the Natural and Working Lands sector. It outlines guiding principles and strategies to help the state protect its natural and working lands from conversion, enhance their ecological functions, and develop innovative solutions for biomass utilization and other activities that support natural land stewardship and complete carbon and waste lifecycles. (ARB)
2016 California Jurisdictions Addressing Climate Change
The Governor's Office of Planning and Research prepared a list of plans and initiatives adopted by California jurisdictions to address climate change. This information is from OPR's 2012 and 2013 Annual Planning Survey and augmented with personal interviews in 2016. This list will be updated again in summer 2016. Please email if you have suggested changes to this list. (PDF, Excel, Summary Graphs)
Safeguarding California: Implementation Action Plans
Following the Governor's Executive Order B-30-15 calling for the state to adapt to climate change, the Natural Resources Agency released a final plan for how California will prepare for the extreme effects of climate change. Read ARCCA's comment letter that helped shape the final Implementation Action Plans. (Link)
California Climate Investments Using Cap-and-Trade Action Proceeds - Annual Report
This annual report to the legislature provides information on the status outcomes of projects funded by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, as well as their expected GHG reductions and key statistics on benefits to disadvantaged communities, demand for funding, and leveraging. Over their lifetime, projects awarded through 2015 are expected to reduce GHG emissions by over 14 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. Exceeding SB 535 requirements, 39% of all projects are located in disadvantaged communities and over half of all projects benefit disadvantaged communities. (Link)
Upcoming Opportunities
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Wetland Mitigation Banking Program
Wetland mitigation banking is a market-based approach that involves restoring, creating, or enhancing wetlands in one place to compensate for unavoidable impacts to wetlands at another location. The NRCS will provide awards of up to $1 million each to help partners develop, operate, and manage wetlands mitigation banks. NRCS is prioritizing funding to locations with a significant amount of wetland compliance requests, including the California Vernal Pool Region. Deadline: March 28, 5pm EST. (
Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program Grants
The California State Transportation Agency is now accepting applications for Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program Grants for projects that make important investments in California's transportation system or modernize and integrate the state's transit and rail systems to increase ridership and reduce GHG emissions. Applications are due April 5. (CalSTA)
Drought Resiliency Project Grants
States, tribes, irrigation districts, water districts, and other organizations with water or power delivery authority are invited to leverage their money and resources by cost sharing with the Bureau of Reclamation on Drought Resiliency projects that will increase the reliability of water supply; improve water management; implement systems to facilitate the voluntary sale, transfer, or exchange of water; and provide benefits for fish, wildlife, and the environment to mitigate impacts caused by drought. Applications are due April 11, 2016. (
EPA: Integrating Human Health and Well-Being with Ecosystem Services Grant
Many communities do not adequately consider the benefit of ecosystems on public health and well-being in decision making. This grant will fund collaborative, community-based research that will examine how communities can integrate ecosystem services with human health and well-being to inform decision making and management practices. Deadline: April 21. (EPA)
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. Deadline: May 2. (Department of Conservation)
USDA: Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)
The RCPP has $260 million available for partner proposals to improve the nation's water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat, and protect agricultural viability. Created by the 2014 Farm Bill, RCPP leverages local leadership to establish partnerships that work with farmers, ranchers and forest landowners on landscape- and watershed-scale conservation solutions that work best for their region. Pre-proposal deadline: May 10. (USDA)
FEMA: Pre-Disaster Mitigation and Flood Mitigation Assistance Grants
The Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) program provides funds for hazard mitigation planning and the implementation of mitigation projects for the purpose of reducing overall risk to the population and structures, while at the same time also reducing reliance on federal funding from actual disaster declarations. The Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) program provides funds so that measures can be taken to reduce or eliminate risk of flood damage to buildings insured under the National Flood Insurance Program. Deadline: June 15. (Link)
Upcoming Events
2016 POCACITO in Germany Application
Application Due - March 27
Ecologic Institute invites you to apply to take a trip to Germany as part of the upcoming 2016 POCACITO in Germany program to explore first hand how German cities are transitioning to become post-carbon cities. Participants from city and regional authorities, city planners and civil society actors will have the unique opportunity to directly engage with their German professional counterparts and build a US-German network to promote sustainable city energy transition through international exchange. The program will take place from 18-24 June 2016. Submit your application by March 27, 2016(More Information)
CivicSpark 2016-17 Project Partner Information Webinars
Monday 3/28 at 10am, Wednesday 4/13 at 1pm, or Wednesday 4/27 at 10am
Register Today for one of these three webinars. During the webinar, you can learn about being a project partner with CivicSpark for the 2016-17 Service Year, and having a CivicSpark AmeriCorps member work on climate action projects in your community. This 1-hour webinar will cover the program structure, application process, and local match costs. There will be time for questions at the end. (Register)
Webinar: Climate and Health: Planning for the Future
March 30, 11am-noon
This session will bring together planning, sustainability, and public health experts to highlight the opportunities within land use planning to simultaneously address climate change and human health. Participants will learn about the connection between healthy and sustainable communities, the role of demographics and data to inform planning, impacts on vulnerable communities, and incorporating health policies that benefit both mitigation and adaptation efforts into general plans and climate plans. SACOG will be hosting a group viewing with planners and public health staff, with discussion of collaboration opportunities to follow. (Register)
California Adaptation Forum - Call for Session Proposals Open
Proposal Deadline: April 3
The Local Government Commission, in partnership with the State of California, is conducing a formal Call for Session Proposals for the 2nd California Adaptation Forum to be held September 7-8, 2016 in Long Beach, CA. Forum organizers are looking for dynamic and engaging session proposals that help to galvanize commitment and catalyze action among adaptation leaders throughout California. 

The two-day event will be the premier convening for a multi-disciplinary group of 1,000+ decision-makers, leaders and advocates to discuss, debate and consider how we can most effectively respond to the impacts of climate change. Submit a proposal today!

Weathering Change: The Impact of Climate and the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act on California's Water

April 4-5, 2016

University of California, Davis, Conference Center

Climate change and the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) will strongly influence water availability and allocation in California. Successful adaptation to hydroclimate change will hinge on new approaches to integrated water resources management in concert with SGMA. Can California adapt to these challenges, and what is the best path forward? The two-day event will feature an address by Kevin de Leon, poster session, and panels and discussions exploring the use of hydroclimate and decision-making science to inform policy, innovative adaptations to water scarcity, the future of irrigated agriculture, and more. (Register)

ARCAA Webinar: Financing Infrastructure Through Resilience Bonds

Wednesday, April 6, 1-2pm PDT

Join ARCCA and re:focus partners for a Learning Session on Financing Infrastructure through Resilience Bonds. This session will feature Shalini Vajjhala, Founder and CEO of re:focus partners, and their new RE:bound report on leveraging catastrophe bonds as a mechanism for resilient infrastructure project finance. (Register)
Water and Fire: Impacts of Climate Change
April 10-11
On April 10-11, The Institute on Science for Global Policy (ISGP) and Sacramento State are hosting a conference on campus - Water and Fire: Impacts of Climate Change.  We are bringing together recognized experts and community members from the spectrum of scientific and policy views, and facilitating debates and caucus sessions to build consensus around actionable next steps that will help our state adapt to climate change.  The conference is free - please register at www.waterandfire2016.comcall 520-343-8181 to be mailed a registration; or contact us at  
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: 

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