The Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative (CRC) is a coalition of local and regional organizations from the six-county Sacramento region, working together to build resilience against climate change. The CRC believes that regional coordination and partnership is critical to building stronger, sustainable, and more economically viable communities.
The CRC now has 20 members from the public, private, and non-profit sectors, including the Sac Metro Air District, Sacramento County, the City of Sacramento, and SMUD. In addition, the CRC is a member of the statewide Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation (ARCCA) through which the Capital Region can coordinate and share information with adaptation professionals from the Bay Area, Los Angeles, San Diego, Central Coast, and the Sierra Nevada.
Since it was formed in 2013, the CRC has completed a needs assessment of local water agencies to understand how they are incorporating climate risks into long-term planning and supported the Sacramento Tree Foundation in its outreach to disadvantaged communities in South Sacramento, among other projects. The CRC distributes a biweekly newsletter and hosts quarterly meetings for stakeholders to come together to discuss key regional climate impacts such as drought and public health. We are working to identify future projects and issues that the CRC can support.
The Sacramento Clean Cities Coalition is a public-private partnership that aims to reduce petroleum use in the transportation industry. One of almost 100 local coalitions in the Department of Energy’s nationwide Clean Cities Program, Sacramento Clean Cities encompasses fleets in Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado, Yolo, Solano, Sutter, and Butte counties. Sacramento Clean Cities hosts regular events, programs, and workshops to help public and private fleets increase the adoption of advanced vehicles that run on fuels such as natural gas, hydrogen, and electricity.
In 2015, the SACOG Board officially adopted the Sacramento Region Transportation Climate Adaptation Plan as part of its 2016 Metropolitan Transportation Plan / Sustainable Communities Strategy update, affirming the importance of climate adaptation in future planning. Developed by CivicSpark Fellows, this high-level action plan identifies key vulnerabilities to climate change in the region’s transportation infrastructure. With recommendations for best practices and strategies, the plan builds a foundation for future work such as stakeholder engagement, in-depth asset-level assessments, funding, and monitoring.
In addition, SACOG and the Sac Metro Air District have been working together to bring a bike share program to Sacramento and West Sacramento The program is expected to launch in spring 2017.
Trees are a critical part of community resilience, providing shade, stormwater filtration, air quality improvements, and urban heat island reduction. By sequestering carbon, trees also help to mitigate climate change. With over 30 years of experience in urban forestry, the Sacramento Tree Foundation is a community organization working to support a healthy tree canopy for Sacramento. Ongoing programs include the popular Shade Tree Program in partnership with SMUD, which provides free shade trees to residents and businesses, which can help cool their building and reduce air-conditioning use in summer. In addition, the Sacramento Tree Foundation is working on a special project funded by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to develop community-based tree-planting projects in South Sacramento. This can help disadvantaged neighborhoods increase their urban street trees and enjoy the benefits for their health and community.
With a target of generating 37 percent of its electricity from renewable energy by 2020, SMUD is committed to addressing climate change in its own operations, and also runs several programs to help its customers do the same. SMUD‘s Greenergy program helps residential and business customers meet up to 100% of their electricity consumption with renewable energy, while its SolarShares program allows customers to participate in solar energy generation without installing a system on their rooftop. SMUD also provides rebates and loans for energy efficiency upgrades, appliances, cool roofs (which help to keep buildings cool, reducing the need for air-conditioning), electric vehicles, and more.
The Green Capital Alliance works to grow the clean economy in the Sacramento Capital Region to expand job opportunities, support environmental sustainability, and position the region as a leader for clean technology. This will help the region attract high-growth, advanced industries in clean energy, energy efficiency, clean transportation, and natural resource and waste stream innovations.
Several cities in Sacramento have adopted Climate Action Plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with emissions targets of 15 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. Sacramento County has adopted a climate action plan for county operations, and is now working on a community-wide climate action plan and climate adaptation plan.
Sac Metro Air District staff prepared a white paper, Climate Action Planning in the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, describing the multiple benefits to a local agency that adopts a qualified climate action plan. The white paper was presented to the Sac Metro Air District Board of Directors at the October 2017 meeting.