The Contra Costa County Climate Leaders (4CL) program is a network assisting the county and its 19 cities to inform, support and encourage the measurement and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Through education and sharing of best practices we will ensure sustainable, healthy and livable cities.

October 2010

October 2010


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Funding

Reducing Public Exposure to Indoor Pollutants: $225K Available

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9, requests proposals for Indoor Environments: Reducing Public Exposure to Indoor Pollutants. This funding will support demonstrations, training, outreach and/or education projects to reduce exposure to indoor pollutants for K-12 schools and homes. For more information, contact Shelly Rosenblum at rosenblum.shelly@epa.gov or go here. Refer to Sol# EPA-R9-AIR6-10-005. Responses due by 10/18.

Choice Neighborhoods Funding: $65 million Available

The U.S. Department of Housing Urban Development requests proposals for the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative – Round 1. Choice Neighborhoods seeks to employ a comprehensive approach to neighborhood transformation. Core goals include creating more energy efficient housing and transforming neighborhoods of poverty. Planning and implementation grants will be awarded. Up to 19 awards anticipated. For more information, visit here. Refer to Sol# FR-5415-N-25. Responses due by 10/26.

National Endowment for the Humanities Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections: $400K Available

Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections, (SCHC), helps cultural institutions preserve large and diverse holdings of humanities materials for future generations. Through the support of preventive conservation measures, deterioration is mitigated and the useful lives of collections are prolonged. A growing body of research suggests that institutions can develop effective, energy-efficient, and environmentally sensitive preservation measures, particularly for managing the environmental conditions under which collections are stored or exhibited. The SCHC is offering grants for both planning and implementation of conservation measures and encourages projects focused on energy efficiency. For more information on this grant opportunity, visit: here. Applications are due by 11/16.

Local City News

The U.S. Navy Increases Contract for Algal Fuel with San Francisco Company

Solazyme, a San Francisco company, committed to a contract for 150,000 gallons of 100% algal derived fuel for the U.S. Navy. Solazyme is a renewable oil production company and is the leader in algal biotechnology.

After completing a 2009 contract for 20,000 gallons, a new contract was created to supply 7.5 times more algal fuel for the military. The contract also calls for more research and development in algal fuel. Learn more here.

Community Gardens Spring Up Across the County

Cities from California to New York are implementing gardens and taking protective measures to keep them in the future. New York recently updated their old policy in order to keep gardens protected while still retaining public access and the right to change the gardening co-op if aesthetics aren’t maintained. Read the full article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/14/nyregion/14gardens.html. Moraga has a great community garden; watch this video to learn more.

Other City News

Tasmania’s Climate Change Hit List

A new report shows that Tasmania’s alpine regions and coastal areas will be the first casualties of climate change. Commissioned by the state government, the list of threatened flora and fauna has taken 18 months to compile. Even with the dire results of this report, any action is still months away. Read more here.

Water Scarcity Requires Individualized Approaches for Different Locations

Typically, conserving water for people’s use has been managed through reservoirs and dams. While these projects protect people from running out of water, they do not take nature’s water requirements into account. Through a large data collection effort, researchers have created a map which plots the composite threat to human water security and to biodiversity across the globe with global climate change. Thinking of the extraordinary monetary requirements for building dams, researchers suggest that governments invest in water management strategies that combine infrastructure with “natural” options such as safeguarding watersheds, wetlands and flood plains. Read more here.

Legislation

Disappointed By Congress, EPA Pursues Climate Change

Because Congress did not manage to pass climate change legislation, the EPA is issuing new rules and regulations. These rules are to include the limiting of emissions from cars and trucks as well as requiring some companies to install new technologies to reduce pollution. The administrator of EPA wants to make low-carbon emissions part of the country’s economic fiber and believes that EPA has a legal obligation under the Clean Air Act to move forward with regulatory steps. Read the full interview here.

CARB Advances 33% Renewable Energy Rule

The California Air Resources Board, (CARB), unanimously adopted its proposed rule to implement a 33% renewable energy standard, (RES), – which is a key component of the state’s climate change program. The regulation ramps up the amount of electricity coming from wind, solar, geothermal and other renewable sources of energy while preserving the existing authorities of the energy agencies and the grid operator. ARB oversight will ensure that the renewable standard delivers substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and achieves clean air goals by reducing smog-forming pollution. Read the news release here.

Impacts

Disaster plan: cities need to adapt for climate change

Playing out simulations of disaster-movie scenarios such as terrorist attacks, earthquakes and hurricanes is something many governments do periodically to test the capabilities of their emergency response teams. In the past few years, this list has included the effects climate change. As the climate changes, weather in many regions is likely to become more extreme. Heat waves and droughts will become more frequent and intense while at the same time, sea levels are likely to rise and storms become more severe. Buildings, streets and vital infrastructure have been designed to withstand certain weather patterns but might not withstand the extremes of the future. Structures need to be re-evaluated. Read more here.

Massive Coral Reef Die-Off

One of the most destructive and swift coral bleaching events ever recorded is underway in the waters off of Indonesia. Water temperatures have climbed into the low 90s according to recently released data. Many locals who are impoverished, rely on the coral reef for their food and livelihoods. Immediate and intensive management will be required to help these reefs, the fisheries and the entire ecosystem recover. If ocean temperatures continue to rise, there is little anyone can do. Read more here.

Economics

Cities Stop Planning for Smart Growth and Start Evaluating How to Shrink a City

Some planners and politicians are starting to try something new: embracing shrinking. Admitting that these cities are not going to return to their former population size anytime soon, planners, activists and officials are starting to talk about what it might mean to shrink well. After decades of worrying about smart growth, they’re starting to think about smart shrinking, about how to create cities that are healthier because they are smaller. Losing size, in this line of thought, isn’t just a byproduct of economic malaise, but a strategy. Read more here.

Money invested into the Technology of the Future

Smart grid technology to better manage electrical demand has caught the imagination of governments, utility companies and consumers alike, in both developed and developing countries. China reportedly will put smart grids in its new five-year plan, pumping a world-leading $7.3 billion of stimulus funding into the technology in 2010. The US follows with $7.09 billion, Japan ($849 million), South Korea ($824 million), Spain ($807 million), Germany ($397 million), Australia ($360 million, UK ($290 million), France ($265 million), and Brazil ($204 million). Pilot projects are working, problems in the systems are being investigated and the expected market potential is large. Read the full article here.

Upcoming events

Benchmarking Buildings Energy

October 19, San Ramon

Join Contra Costa County Climate Leaders and PG&E for our next workshop! ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager is the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) interactive energy management tool for tracking and assessing energy and water consumption of buildings. PG&E provides customers with an Automated Benchmarking Service that flows your energy use data to Portfolio Manager. If cities are to reduce their energy use, they must track the current building usage. Please join fellow CCC decision makers to learn about the program, successful case studies and next steps. Register today by emailing info@cccclimateleaders.org.

EPA Offers Web-Based Training on Electronic Greenhouse Gas Reporting Tool

Various Dates in October and November, Webinar

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is offering Web-based training sessions for users of its electronic Greenhouse Gas Reporting Tool (e-GGRT), an online tool for reporting greenhouse gas emissions from large sources and suppliers. The training will provide information on program registration, how to use the Web forms, and other topics. Interested individuals can choose one of four dates. EPA also held a number of other Web-based and regional in-person training sessions on aspects of the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program. Presentations from these trainings, as well as links to register for the e-GGRT trainings listed above, are available here.

Greenworks Philadelphia: Implementing Urban Sustainability

October 29, Webinar

Philadelphia’s mayor pledged to make Philadelphia the number one green city in America by 2015. This webinar will discuss their first year of “Greenwork “, share successes to date and strategies looking ahead. Register here.

Comprehensive Energy Retrofits on Existing Buildings Workshop

November 12, San Francisco

Join USGBC-NCC and PG&E for this full day workshop. California has over 500,000 existing buildings, creating over 5 billion square feet of built space. These buildings consume $10 million in energy per year. Using case studies from their extensive portfolio of work, this team will provide real life examples of energy retrofits from the first benchmarking process to the final results. Particular emphasis will be placed on lighting, HVAC and plug load strategies. Visit here for more information.

Solar Power Generation USA 2011

January 25-26, Las Vegas

Meet the utility scale solar world at the 3rd Annual Solar Power Generation conference and learn about the latest market developments, make new contacts and help drive innovation in large scale solar project development. Last year this event featured over 60 speakers and had over 300 attendees. With separate streams dedicated to CSP and PV technologies, the 2011 event will not only examine issues in the solar sector as a whole but will also drill down into these diverging markets. Visit here for more information.

2010

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