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Saturday, August 15, 2009

California's Draft Adaptation Strategy

The State of California has released a draft of its Adaptation Strategy, which is now available for public comment. In addition to a range of specific adaptation strategies for a range of sectors, the report makes a number of high-level recommendations for California.

Key recommendations include:
  1. A Climate Adaptation Advisory Panel (CAAP) will be appointed to assess the greatest risks to California from Climate Change and recommend strategies to reduce those risks building on California’s Climate Adaptation Strategy.
  2. California must change its water management and uses because climate change will likely create greater competition for limited water supplies needed by the environment, agriculture, and cities.
  3. Consider project alternatives that avoid significant new development in
    areas that cannot be adequately protected (planning, permitting, development, and building) from flooding due to climate change.
  4. All state agencies responsible for the management and regulation of public
    health, infrastructure or habitat subject to significant climate change should
    prepare as appropriate agency-specific adaptation plans, guidance, or
    criteria by September 2010.
  5. All significant state projects, including infrastructure projects, must consider climate change impacts, as currently required under CEQA Guidelines Section 15126.2. (BH-2).
  6. The California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) will collaborate with CNRA and the seven sector-based Climate Adaptation Working Groups (CAWGs) to assess California's vulnerability to climate change, identify impacts to State assets, and promote climate adaptation/mitigation awareness through the Hazard Mitigation Web Portal and My Hazards website as well as other appropriate sites.
  7. The State should identify key California land and aquatic habitats from
    existing research that could change significantly this century due to climate
  8. The California Department of Public Health will develop guidance by September 2010 for use by local health departments and other agencies to assess mitigation and adaptation strategies, which include impacts on vulnerable populations and communities and assessment of cumulative health impacts.
  9. Communities with General Plans and Local Coastal Plans should begin when possible to amend their Plans to assess climate change impacts, identify areas most vulnerable to these impacts, and to develop reasonable and rational risk eduction strategies using the Draft California Adaptation Strategy as guidance.
  10. State fire fighting agencies should begin immediately to include climate change impact information into fire program planning to inform future planning efforts.
  11. State agencies should meet projected population growth and increased energy demand with greater energy conservation and increased use of renewable energy.
  12. Existing and planned climate change research can and should be used for
    state planning and public outreach purposes; new climate change impact research should be broadened and funded.

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