Climate Change Adaptation Task Force

In November of 2008, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued executive order SO- 13-08 requiring the California Natural Resources Agency to coordinate with 14 other state agencies in developing a strategy for adapting to the impacts of climate change. Over the next 100 years, the climate is expected to experience an increase in temperature of 2 to 4 degrees. As a result of the uneven nature of climate, some areas will experience significantly higher temperature increases. It is expected that in the Central Valley of California, for example, summer days will be an average of 10 degrees hotter. This temperature rise is expected to bring with it higher sea-level, longer and more destructive fire seasons, and reduced water supply. Despite its obvious vulnerability, California is woefully behind in preparing for the coming changes.

The Pacific Council's Task Force on Adaptation to Climate Change was convened to analyze immediate climate change threats to California and recommend actionable strategies and policies for adapting to climate change. The Task Force is focused on three key hazards which are most likely to have increasing impact on the health and safety of California as the climate warms. These hazards are:

  • Increased wild fires and extended fire seasons
  • Rising sea levels along 1100 miles of coastline, and
  • Reduced availability of water with reduced snow pack in the Sierras and extended periods of drought.

The Task Force ultimately set out to develop recommendations for consideration by the Natural Resources Agency, the legislature and others in the State, intended to reduce these risks by enabling California to proactively manage these challenges. It was during this process that the Task Force, which was convened independent of the State’s strategy development process, became an important partner in the state planning process and was declared the advisory panel to the state, fulfilling an initial recommendation of the 2009 California Climate Adaptation Strategy that was released by the Climate Action Team in Sacramento. For more on this role, click here.

On November 22, 2010, the Task Force released its findings and final report at a public release event in Los Angeles. For more on the final report, as well as information on this public release, click here.

To view the Task Force roster, click here.

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