NCSE’s Building Climate Solutions Conference
1.28.14 - 1.30.14
CCAP and USGRCP hosted a symposium (1/28) and workshop (1/29) on “Climate Adaptation + Mitigation Strategies: Pursuing Implementation Pilots” at the National Council on Science and the Environment (NCSE) 14th National Conference and Global Forum on Science, Policy and the Environment, “Building Climate Solutions,” January 28 – 30, 2014 in Washington, DC.
- Symposium: Tues, Jan 28, 3:45 – 5:15pm
- Workshop: Wed, Jan 29, 2:00 – 5:15pm
The Climate Adaptation + Mitigation Synergies sessions are designed to identify innovative partnerships for the implementation of Adaptation + Mitigation pilot projects in 2014. Together we Ask the Climate Question: How can we maximize the return on our infrastructure and climate investments – mitigation and adaptation – while also maximizing the economic, social, and environmental benefits? The “A+M” sessions enabled local practitioners and decision makers at all scales to learn about best practices and discuss opportunities for achieving synergies among actions that both cut carbon pollution (mitigation) and prepare for and respond to climate impacts (adaptation). Panelists (1) reviewed the current and planned state of practice on integrating mitigation and adaptation, (2) identified actionable research and information needs, and (3) explored policy and implementation opportunities.
- Steve Winkelman, CCAP, Director, Transportation and Adaptation – Overview of Adaptation + Mitigation Synergies (and conflicts)
- Emily Seyller, USGCRP, Program Manager Inform Decisions – Research and Capacity Building Needs to advance A+M Synergies
- Susan Ruffo, Council on Environmental Quality, Deputy Associate Director for Climate Change Adaptation- Opportunities to Integrate Federal Mitigation & Adaptation efforts (President’s Climate Action Plan, Council on Preparedness and Resilience, State/Local/Tribal Task Force…)
- Clay Nesler, Johnson Controls International – Efficient and Resilient Buildings, Vice President of Global Energy and Sustainability
The nexus between adapting to the impacts of a changing climate and reducing carbon pollution is rarely approached in an integrated fashion. However, many climate adaptation measures have mitigation benefits and vice versa. Examples include: green infrastructure (manages urban heat and stormwater); building weatherization (improves energy efficiency and storm resilience); micro grids and distributed renewables (ensures low-carbon, resilient power systems); elevated subway grates (protects low-carbon transit from flooding); and water efficiency (reduces pumping energy use and prepares communities for declining supplies).
There is an emerging literature on and a growing appreciation of adaptation and mitigation synergies. Leading urban resilience and sustainability plans in the US (e.g., PlaNYC and Sustainable DC) include both mitigation and adaptation components and countries such as Germany and the Philippines are working to integrate mitigation and adaptation into investment decisions.
The President’s Climate Change Action Plan sets the stage for comprehensive action on both mitigation and adaptation. With increasingly limited financial resources, the growth of the climate adaptation community of practice, and severe weather events that have focused attention on comprehensive resilience, now is an opportune time to pursue integrated climate resilience planning.
Workshop: Climate Adaptation + Mitigation Synergies: Pursuing Implementation Pilots
Wed, Jan 29, 2:00 – 5:15pm
The Climate Adaptation + Mitigation Synergies workshop engaged local, regional, state and tribal leaders to identify innovative pilots that can be launched in 2014. We encourage participation from members of the State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience and the Rockefeller Foundation 100 Resilient Cities initiative. We invite participation from practitioners in specific sectors such as buildings, energy, water and transportation.
Each participant completed a “3x3x3” homework assignment. This matrix will ensure that you are prepared to discuss how you maximize the return on those investments and to provide input to the following discussion questions:
- Are there conflicts among these priorities?
- Where are opportunities for synergies and what sectors are you seeing these in (e.g. transportation, building, water, energy, etc.)?
- What barriers stand in the way of Connecting the Dots on Adaptation + Mitigation?
- What help do you need to get to implementation: technical assistance, finance, policy, partnerships, etc.?
- Identify actionable opportunities for A+M pilot projects in 2014 in multiple sectors (transportation, building, water, energy, etc.).
- Provide input for the National Climate Assessment “AMNex” affinity group (Adaptation + Mitigation Nexus) and the Climate Resilient LEDS working group (co-chaired by Ecosynergy Brazil and CCAP).
- Investment Opportunities – John Nordgren, Kresge Foundation
- Capacity Building & Technical Resources – Adam Parris, NOAA
3x3x3 interviews of sector experts (Investments, Policies, and Capacity building):
- Energy – Shalom Flank, Pareto Energy
- Water – Laurens van der Tak, CH2M Hill
- Buildings – Debra Ballen, IBHS
- A symposium summary paper
- Input for AMNex and CR LEDS webinars
- Identify focused and innovative partnership opportunities for implementation and co-production of pilot projects in 2014
- Prioritized next steps, including plan for follow-up discussions.