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“It’s time for courage, it’s time for creativity and it’s time for boldness to tackle climate change.”
Governor Brown, Sept 13, 2011

On December 15, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and environmental, business and public health and safety leaders came together at The Governor’s Conference on Extreme Climate Risks and California’s Future.

The Governor’s Conference focused on the threats of unpredictable and extreme weather events on the state’s economy, business sectors, public health and natural resources. Attendees discussed the best ways to prepare and protect our state and adapt to these growing risks.

The Governor’s Conference built on the findings of a United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report outlining the link between global warming, extreme weather events and their economic impact.

The Governor’s Conference can be viewed using the links below.

Through 2012, complementary events are being held throughout the state to provide for in-depth review of certain extreme weather threats and potential solutions.


Presenting Sponsor: California Academy of Sciences
California Academy of Science Logo

  • California Ocean Science Trust
  • California Sea Grant
  • Energy Foundation
  • Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
  • Rockefeller Brothers Fund
  • The San Diego Foundation
  • USC Sea Grant, University of Southern California


Related News

Information on California’s Climate Programs:

Background Materials:

UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change:
Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX)

Public Health:
“A Climate of Suffering: The Real Costs of Inaction on Climate Change” (The Climate Institute-Australia)

Extreme Fires:
“ CalFire Strategic Fire Plan”
“June 2008 Fire Siege Report” (CalFire)

Cool Communities–Addressing Heat Waves:
Research on Cool Roofs, Cool Pavements and Urban Heat Islands (LBNL)

“Billion Dollar U.S. Weather/ Climate Disasters” (NOAA)
“Weather Extremes in a Changing Climate (World Meteorological Organisation)

“An Assessment of California Agriculture’s Readiness for Climate Change” (CA Climate and Ag Network)

“Climate Science, Impacts and Response: Update” (California Energy Commission)
“Center for Climate Strategies Adaptation Handbook”

Complementary Events

November 9, 2011

Cal EMA Executive Flood Seminar
Cal EMA hosted an Executive Seminar in Sacramento to discuss policy issues related to flood disaster response and recovery.  The session provided leadership to prepare for the upcoming winter/rain season through policy discussions on potential flood impacts and related decision processes as they pertain to water conveyance, levees and the delta, the impact of increasing extreme weather events in California, as well as infrastructure/utilities issues, and lessons learned from prior flood events including the Flood Emergency Action Team (FEAT) products. Participants included the Federal Emergency Management Agency, State Agency/Department Secretaries & Directors, Local Government, US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and other partner agencies.

November 16, 2011

The Impact of Extreme Events and Climate Change on California’s Food Supply
1220 N St, 1st Floor, Sacramento, CA
In coordination with the State Board of Agriculture, CDFA is planning a one-day event that will focus on extreme events induced by climate change and potential impact on the state food supply that comes from agriculture. The event will kick-off in the morning focusing on understanding what might happen in California with climate change followed by an afternoon session on what we can we do and have been doing at the state level to address the issue. More information and an agenda can be found by clicking here.
(Contact: Amrith Gunasekara,; Josh Eddy,

December 13, 2011

Vulnerability and Adaptation to Extreme Events in California in the Context of a Changing Climate: New Scientific Findings
UC San Diego
This one-day workshop will convene a team of disciplinary and multi-disciplinary experts to discuss extreme weather-related events in different sectors of the economy such as energy, public health, agriculture, coastal resources, and ecosystems. The presentations will characterize extreme events in an historical context and explore how they might be altered under scenarios of climate change. Additional information can be found by clicking here.

December 14, 2011

Catastrophic Events in an Age of Climate Change: Harnessing the Power of Legal and Policy Tools
UC Berkeley Boalt Hall, Goldberg Room
In sponsorship with the California Governor’s Office and The Nature Conservancy, Berkeley Law will host a panel with legal and policy experts to discuss the law of catastrophic events, focusing on policy tools to plan for and mitigate the consequences of natural and man-made disasters.  Professors Daniel Farber and Laurel Fletcher of Berkeley Law will share their research on disaster law and climate change, including lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina and the Japanese tsunami.  Louis Blumberg, Director of the California Climate Change Program at The Nature Conservancy, will speak about nature-based adaptation to climate change, focusing on the climate extremes of sea level rise, flood, wildfire, and disruption of water supply.
Please Register using this link:
(Contact: Jayni Hein;

December 16, 2011

Ocean Protection Council: Spotlight on Science: Extreme Weather Events and Coastal Vulnerability
Sierra Hearing Room, Cal/EPA, 1001 I St., Sacramento, CA
The Oceanic Protection Council Spotlight on Science will provide a targeted discussion of the latest science addressing increasing coastal vulnerability due to a changing climate. California’s coastal populations, infrastructure, property, and ecosystems are already at risk from coastal storms and this risk is growing. This panel will also highlight the actions California is taking to prepare for and adapt to climate change related risks. </a
(Contact: Amber Mace;; 916-651-8738)

December 16, 2011

California Air Resources Board Meeting: California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard
Byron Sher Auditorium, 1001 I Street, Sacramento, CA.
The California Air Resources Board approved the world’s first comprehensive low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) in 2009. The LCFS is designed to achieve a 10% reduction in the carbon intensity of transportation fuels by 2020, and the first full year of implementation is 2011.  At the Board meeting, ARB staff will present the results of a year-long formal review of the LCFS by a select advisory panel. The low carbon fuel standard represents one of the significant actions taken to reduce GHG emissions from the transportation sector and will complement efforts to improve vehicle efficiency and reduce the number of vehicle miles driven. Use this link for more information and Meeting Agenda.
(Contact: Richard Corey, (916) 322-2733,

January 25, 2011

Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach
Atmospheric Rivers, Floods, and Climate Change
Recent scientific discoveries are helping us understand atmospheric rivers – the concentrated streams of moisture that originate over the Pacific Ocean and cause California’s major winter floods when they reach landfall here.  This lecture for the general public by speakers from DWR and the National Weather Service will describe just how extreme these extreme precipitation and flooding events can be, put them in the context of our historical flooding, and discuss what is known about the effects of climate change on these extreme events.  Also covered will be “ARkstorm”, the simulated flooding event used to gauge California’s emergency preparedness for a flood of epic proportions.  For more information:
(Contact: Linda Brown;; 562-951-1648)

January 26-27, 2012

California Air Resources Board Meeting:  Advanced Clean Cars
Metropolitan Water District Headquarters, 700 North Alameda Street, Los Angeles, CA.
California Air Resources Board will hold a public meeting to consider the Advanced Clean Cars Regulation package.   The package includes a nation-leading zero-emission vehicle mandate as the focused technology-forcing element, requiring manufacturers to sell increasing numbers of zero-emission vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles reaching a cumulative total of 1.4 million of these ultra-clean cars by 2025. These regulations will also provide a national roadmap to a future with zero emission vehicles, radically reducing greenhouse gases emissions, driving innovation, new technology and creating tens of thousands of new jobs in California. A summary of the program is available at:
(Contact: Dave Clegern; 916-322-2990;

January 31, 2012

Los Angeles County Department of Public Works HQ, 900 S. Fremont Ave., Alhambra
Climate Change, Extreme Weather, and Southern California Floods
Extreme precipitation events present unique flooding risks to Southern California with respect to alluvial fan flooding and debris flows.  This workshop will cover recognition of flood hazards from high-intensity precipitation events, predictive ability for extreme storms, and emerging understanding of risk factors, including wildfires.   The agenda will include updates related to the recommendations of the 2010 Alluvial Fan Task Force Findings and Recommendations Report and the status of development of the state plan of flood protection.
(Contact: Jeanine Jones;; 916-653-8126)

February 29, 2011

Climate Change and Coastal Inundation
Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach
By 2100, increases in global mean sea level will result in long-term inundation of low-lying coastal areas throughout the state.  Within the next few decades, however, coastal flood damages will be driven by event-based inundation from storm surges, inland riverine flooding, and shallow flooding from high tides combined with storm conditions.   This lecture for the general public by speakers from DWR and the University of California will discuss the climatic influence on flooding mechanisms, expected impacts, and vulnerability of infrastructure such as stormwater systems.  Also covered will be flood frequency analysis in a changing climate.  For more information:
(Contact: Linda Brown;; 562-951-1648)

March – April 2012

Climate change & Flood Frequency Analysis
 Multiple Locations (Location and Date TBD)
Public scoping meetings on recommendations for supplementing the federal “Guidelines for Determining Flood Flow Frequency Analysis” (Bulletin 17-B) to incorporate climate change.
Existing federal guidelines for flood frequency analysis that are widely used by local and state agencies do not consider climate change. Knowing that increases in extreme events are expected, California needs to step up and begin a process to supplement the federal standards.
(Contact: Janine Jones; 916- 653-8126;

April 9, 2012

Confronting Climate Change: A Focus on Local Government Impacts, Actions and Resources
California Endowment, 1000 North Alameda Street, Los Angeles, CA.
This one-day event will provide a summary on the most recent scientific understanding of climate change impacts to cities and counties throughout California and outline the tools and resources for local governments to address climate change impacts. Discussions will focus on coordinated regional efforts, funding opportunities and strategies to reduce risk and impacts that will create jobs and help local economies. The event also will offer opportunities for peer-to-peer learning and networking between local governments in attendance.

Contact: Michael McCormick 916-322-2318

Other complementary events are being planned for 2012. We will post information for these upcoming events as soon as it becomes available. Please check back for updates.

Conference Materials

To make the Governor’s Conference more sustainable we are minimizing printed materials at the Conference.