Climate Change

The Bay Area will be subject to multiple, new or worsening hazards over the next several decades due to global climate change from increased greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. The approach to managing climate change risk is twofold – climate change mitigation, which seeks to stabilize or reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit the effects of climate change, and climate change adaptation, which seeks to lessen the impact of changes already underway. Many Bay Area cities, counties and special districts have already begun to understand their risks and take action, and this movement will continue to grow and become more integrated in planning for other hazards as well as long-term land use planning. The following represent resources for local governments to assist in understanding their risk and planning for climate change.

Climate Change Mitigation

Climate change mitigation encompasses actions being taken to reduce the rate and scope of long-term climate change through reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Around the Bay Area, many cities have taken actions to limit their GHG emissions through energy efficiency, improved public transportation, encouraging walking and biking, and diverting waste from landfills through GHG inventories and Climate Action Plans.

Measuring and Reducing Emissions

PG&E’s Green Communities GHG Inventory Program
Local Government Operations Protocol for Greenhouse Gas Assessments
U.S. Community Protocol for Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Clean Air and Climate Protection Software
Tools and Guidance for Climate Action Planning

Projects Around the Bay Area

Plan Bay Area Draft Environmental Impact Report, Chapter 2.5, Climate Change and Greenhouse Gases
Plan Bay Area’s Climate Initiatives Program

Resources for Local Governments

ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability
California Energy Assurance Planning
Cool California – Local Governments
California Climate Change Portal – Prevent and Prepare
Bay Area Regional Energy Network

Climate Change Adaptation

Climate change adaptation is a response to global climate changes that have already begun to impact ecosystems and seeks to reduce vulnerability to the effects of climate change. Even if GHG emissions stabilize soon, the effects of increased GHG will likely last many years and society will need to adapt to changes in temperature, precipitation, sea level, and other effects. Many Bay Area cities have begun to examine adaptation actions and create Climate Adaptation Plans.

Vulnerability and Exposure

Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts

Source: Mapping methods and references from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal Services Center.

Exposure and vulnerability of Bay Area to sea level rise
Likelihood of sea level rise
GIS data of critical facilities vulnerable to sea level rise
Living With a Rising Bay
Cal-adapt

Projects Around the Bay Area

Bay Area Climate & Energy Resilience Project
Selected projects identified by the Bay Area Climate & Energy Resilience Project
Adapting to Rising Tides
BCDC Climate Change Planning Program
Climate Change Hits Home (SPUR)

Resources for Local Governments

Local government adaptation case studies
California Climate Action Team
California Climate Adaptation Strategy
California Climate Adaptation Planning Guide
Planning for Climate Change: Resources for Bay Area Local Government
Last updated: 10.29.2013