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California’s Progress on Protecting Communities From Climate Change

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: California has made significant progress on implementing coordinated actions to build climate resilience and protect people from the accelerating impacts of the climate crisis. These projects range from increasing wildfire mitigation work like building fuel breaks to restoring significant wetlands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to deploying clean energy microgrids.

SACRAMENTO – California today issued a progress report on actions over the past year to build climate resilience across the state. Taking the form of substantial projects and programs throughout the state, these actions help protect people from the impacts of climate change. Guided by the state’s Climate Adaptation Strategy, California is protecting the most vulnerable communities from accelerating climate threats and leading the way on adapting to climate extremes.

Why it’s important: The report released today shows nearly three-quarters of the Strategy’s 350+ metrics across nearly 150 actions are in progress or completed, with the remaining metrics in the early stages of scoping or beginning project work. See the actions here.

What Governor Newsom said: “Climate change is happening all around us. In just the last year, California experienced a record heat wave and communities suffering from years of drought are now facing historic flooding. We are acting now with an all-of-the-above approach to help all Californians prepare and adapt. California’s Climate Adaptation Strategy recognizes that extreme weather and other climate impacts threaten communities in every part of our state and accelerates actions to protect the most vulnerable. While we have made great progress over the last year, the climate crisis demands we move further and faster to reduce risks to our people.”

Adaptation in action: The Climate Adaptation Strategy comprises nearly 150 actions across six priorities that are being implemented through concrete projects all across California. Some examples include:

  • Last month, the Governor visited a project that is being implemented as part of the Salton Sea Management Program to enhance wetland habitat and improve public health and environmental conditions at the Salton Sea.

  • California launched a new program to reduce risks of extreme heat to California’s youth by investing $150 million to strategically cool schoolyards by planting trees and other native plants.

  • In 2022, the California Energy Commission (CEC) awarded a $31 million grant to deploy a cutting-edge, long-duration energy storage system that will provide renewable backup power for the Viejas Tribe of Kumeyaay Indians and support statewide grid reliability in the event of an emergency.

  • For the third consecutive year, CAL FIRE completed approximately 100,000 acres of wildfire fuel reduction projects. In 2022, the state established the Wildfire Forecast and Threat Intelligence Integration Center, and CAL FIRE flew its first night-flying mission and hired 2,296 firefighters.

  • California directed $42 million last year to help regions transition irrigated lands to meet groundwater sustainability goals.

  • Through the Tribal Marine Stewards Network, California is returning stewardship of ocean and coastal resources to California Native American tribes, ensuring tribal science and Indigenous Traditional Knowledge drives decision-making impacting coastal communities.

More details:

Reducing climate risks and building long-term resilience are top priorities for Governor Newsom. Millions of Californians continue to feel the destructive effects of climate change. In the past year alone, the state experienced severe drought, a record-shattering heatwave and devastating floods driven by extreme weather.

Through the nearly 150 actions outlined in the Climate Adaptation Strategy, state agencies are coordinating across all sectors to reduce climate risks while emphasizing six priorities:

  • Strengthen Protections for Climate Vulnerable Communities

  • Bolster Public Health and Safety to Protect Against Increasing Climate Risks

  • Build a Climate Resilient Economy

  • Accelerate Nature-Based Climate Solutions and Strengthen Climate Resilience of Natural Systems

  • Make Decisions Based on the Best Available Climate Science

  • Partner and Collaborate to Leverage Resources

Progress updates on all the Strategy’s metrics are tracked at https://www.climateresilience.ca.gov/.