SACRAMENTO, Sept. 5, 2018 – A new report by a working group of scientific and engineering experts outlines a step-wise approach to help California’s infrastructure become more resilient to the growing threats of climate change.
The report released today by the Climate-Safe Infrastructure Working Group, established by AB 2800 (Quirk) of 2016, summarizes the challenges posed by higher temperatures, more frequent and intense storms, drought, wildfires and sea-level rise and recommends steps to help design and build infrastructure to withstand those threats.
“California is fortunate to have a scientific community willing to engage with engineers and architects to identify concrete actions to help us build a better future,” California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird said. “This report and its recommendations provide a clear set of next steps to prepare for the inevitable impacts of climate change and make sure that the foundation is laid for the safety, well-being and prosperity of all Californians.”
Prepared over the past nine months, the report offers a compelling vision of climate-safe infrastructure and a comprehensive framework to achieve it. The framework involves providing needed scientific data and analytics, improving the project pre-development process, establishing appropriate governance mechanisms, including updated standards and codes used by engineers and architects, securing adequate funding mechanisms and providing support during the implementation of projects.
AB 2800, sponsored by the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Professional Engineers in California Government, called for an in-depth look at information needs and institutional barriers.
“It’s gratifying to see the efforts started two years ago come to fruition with the release of this report. We can’t start planning for our changing climate future fast enough. Infrastructure, when done right, can protect lives, livelihoods and communities, all of which will grow more vulnerable as climate change impacts in our state worsen,” said Jamesine Rogers Gibson, senior climate analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists.
California is a global leader in investing in, advancing and using research to set proactive climate change policy. The report released today paves the way to better integrate climate impacts into the planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of critical infrastructure. It calls on the state to strengthen adaptation as a political priority and thereby provide national and global leadership equal to that on greenhouse gas mitigation.
To access the report, technical appendices and related materials developed as part of the Climate-Safe Infrastructure Working Group’s deliberations, please visit http://resources.ca.gov/climate/climate-safe-infrastructure-working-group/. The most up-to-date climate science and research on climate change impacts and adaptation can be found in California’s recently released Fourth Climate Change Assessment, at www.ClimateAssessment.ca.gov.
Findings and recommendations of the working group will be presented today at a live webinar from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. featuring Natural Resources Secretary John Laird, the co-sponsors of AB 2800, the co-facilitators, and members of the working group.The webinar will be recorded and the recording posted on the Working Group’s website after the release event.