Adapting to Climate Change

By Secretary John Laird

From eroding sea cliffs to shrunken mountain snowpack, many effects of climate change in California are obvious. Other effects are not so obvious but potentially powerful. Warmer average temperatures will affect everything from whether butterflies appear to where wine grapes can grow.

Following Governor Edward G. Brown Jr.’s executive order last year establishing the most ambitious greenhouse gas reduction target in North America, the Natural Resources Agency today released a comprehensive report for how California will prepare for the extreme effects of climate change, including increasingly extreme weather and sea level rise.

The report, titled Safeguarding California: Implementation Actions Plans, is divided into ten sectors that include water, agriculture, and biodiversity. It describes the risks posed by climate change, as well as the adaptation measures currently underway across state government. Measures include shading the concrete hardscapes of our cities to retrofitting fish hatcheries to cope with warmer streams. The State is committed to regional adaptation approaches that foster local solutions, integrate sectors, build on actionable science, and involve vulnerable groups and the environmental justice community.

The report has been informed by subject experts, stakeholder input, and public comments gathered last fall, including at workshops held around the state. I invite you to examine the report and learn about the state’s plans to safeguard residents, property, communities and natural systems in California.

John Laird is secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency. Follow him on Twitter at @calnatresources.

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The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency created by the Legislature in 1974.
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