Climate change and health inequities are the greatest global health threats of the 21st century. In this report, PHI's Center for Climate Change and Health explores the many ways in which climate change, health, and equity are connected. With input from more than a hundred public health professionals and community health, equity, and environmental justice advocates and support from The Kresge Foundation, this report presents a conceptual framework to help demonstrate how these issues are linked, and to identify opportunities and recommendations for action.
By now, virtually all Americans concur that climate change is real, and could pose devastating consequences for our nation and our children. Equally real is the “Climate Gap” – the sometimes hidden and often-unequal impact climate change will have on people of color and the poor in the United States.
This report helps to document the Climate Gap, connecting the dots between research on heat waves, air quality, and other challenges associated with climate change. But we do more than point out an urgent problem; we also explore how we might best combine efforts to both solve climate change and close the Climate Gap — including an appendix focused on California’s global warming policy and a special accompanying analysis of the federal-level American Clean Energy Security Act.
The community of Clyde River has prepared this plan to better prepare for changes that have started or might happen as a result of climate change. It is understood that this is a first step in a long journey to help the community adjust to climate change. Future steps will be based on new research, knowledge and experience obtained by the community. The plan includes three parts: the desired results [goals], the methods that will be used to achieve the desired results [strategies] and the specific steps that will be taken [an action plan].
This Citizen’s Guide is intended to serve as an introduction to the vast amount of information available on topics related to climate change effects on the Oregon coast, as well as a sourcebook for citizens interested in helping their communities to begin the long process of adapting to these effects. In publishing the Guide, the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition anticipates that most readers will access and read it online with Internet access or in an electronic format, such as a PDF, which will enable easy access to additional information.
The Guide has two parts:
- Part One, A Primer, presents an overview of the topics pertaining to adapting to climate change on the Oregon coast. The Primer contains numerous embedded hyperlinks to enable readers to click directly to external websites or online PDF documents for additional information.
- Part Two, Scientific and Policy Considerations, is a set of papers written by Oregon experts in science, law, and policy. These papers, commissioned by Oregon Shores for this project in 2012, also contain references to further information.
The U.S. Geological Survey is examining effects of future sea-level rise on the coastal landscape from Maine to Virginia by producing spatially explicit, probabilistic predictions using sea-level projections, vertical land movement rates (due to isostacy), elevation data, and land-cover data. Sea-level-rise scenarios used as model inputs are generated by using multiple sources of information, including Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 models following representative concentration pathways 4.5 and 8.5 in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report. A Bayesian network is used to develop a predictive coastal response model that integrates the sea-level, elevation, and land-cover data with assigned probabilities that account for interactions with coastal geomorphology as well as the corresponding ecological and societal systems it supports. The effects of sea-level rise are presented as (1) level of landscape submergence and (2) coastal response type characterized as either static (that is, inundation) or dynamic (that is, landform or landscape change). Results are produced at a spatial scale of 30 meters for four decades (the 2020s, 2030s, 2050s, and 2080s). The probabilistic predictions can be applied to landscape management decisions based on sea-level-rise effects as well as on assessments of the prediction uncertainty and need for improved data or fundamental understanding. This report describes the methods used to produce predictions, including information on input datasets; the modeling approach; model outputs; data-quality-control procedures; and information on how to access the data and metadata online.
Valenzuela City is one of the 16 cities that make up ‘Metro Manila’, or the National Capital Region. Of the 144 cities in the Philippines, Valenzuela City is the 13th most populous, with approximately 570,000 inhabitants. Located 14 km north of Manila, it is a highly urbanised and affluent industrial and residential suburb situated in a low-lying area and bordered by three interconnecting rivers: the Tullahan, the Polo and the Meycauayan. The confluence of these rivers makes Valenzuela vulnerable to flooding during high tides and also to flash floods, which occur regularly during the rainy season.
During periods of heavy rainfall and high tides, stagnant water from floods can sometimes stay in the area for up to 4 weeks due to insufficient drainage, improper solid waste disposal and simply too much water. People are often stranded inside their homes with limited food and water supply, and are exposed to water-borne diseases such as dengue and leptospirosis, as well as coughs and colds. Businesses and entrepeneurs, such as street vendors, furniture makers, small-scale autorepair shops and fish-food processors must watch as the means of their livelihoods are submerged under water. Office workers can also suffer from a lack of income if they are unable to go to work due to flooding.
Because of the impacts of frequent flooding, Valenzuela City was chosen in 2011 as one of five project areas under the Philippines component of the Partners for Resilience (PfR) programme. PfR is a collaboration of five Netherlands-based organisations, along with 30 civil society partners in the global South. By integrating climate change adaptation and ecosystem management and restoration into disaster risk reduction the programme aims to build resilient communities.
Partnerships and networking play key roles in building resilience by helping to sustain programmes and facilitate learning exchanges among stakeholders, thus providing room for improvement and innovation.
Climate- and ecosystem-smart disaster risk reduction approaches are feasible at the city level, but integrating them into development plans requires time and resources, as well as solid commitment from local chief executives and community members.
Existing institutional mechanisms such as national laws and local ordinances can help push the resilience agenda forward.
Integrating climate science and information along different timescales in different disaster risk reduction approaches is an effective entry point to urban resilience.
However, local governments should not look at the concepts of climate change adaptation ecosystem management and restoration, and disaster risk reduction in isolation but consider them systematically and plan holistic interventions.
Salem recognizes the importance of being prepared for climate change and has produced this Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Plan (Plan). The Plan investigates some of the most serious climate change impacts, the resulting stresses to different sectors in the City, and outlines project ideas to address some of the most critical issues. The goal for this plan is to identify immediate, actionable adaptation priorities, and incorporate these into existing and future projects and policies. This will make Salem a more resilient City and a great place to live, work, and visit for years to come.
The South Atlantic Conservation Blueprint is a living spatial plan to conserve natural and cultural resources for future generations. It identifies opportunities for shared conservation action in the face of future changes like sea-level rise and urban growth.
The Urban Land Institute convened its first major meeting focused on resilience on September 4–5, 2014. The San Francisco conference brought together several hundred leading real estate, development, finance, planning, and policy professionals to explore strategies for building resilient cities.
Over two days in San Francisco, ULI and its Urban Resilience Program showcased the Institute’s ongoing engagement and commitment to resilience. ULI recognizes that bold leadership is needed to foster more resilient and more energy-efficient cities around the world. Gatherings such as the Building the Resilient City conference are an important part of ULI’s mission to transform markets, catalyze innovations, and share cutting-edge knowledge related to urban resilience.
The Building the Resilient City conference was a foundational experience for ULI and its members. But make no mistake: the conference was only an important first step in ULI’s long-term efforts to foster resilient cities. Like ULI’s work following Superstorm Sandy, the dialogue that took place in San Francisco is giving shape to the Urban Resilience Program and is helping frame a broader suite of activities under ULI’s Center for Sustainability.
This report not only presents the conference’s key takeaways, but also delves deeper into the ideas and projects discussed there to provide a lasting resource and help extend the dialogue on resilience.
What constitutes strengthening resilience through equitable adaptation planning? How do we assess the context comprehensively so that effective methods are designed? To be able to declare that community resilience has been achieved, we must develop systems that address the needs and provide protection for those most vulnerable and marginalized.
What about the elderly woman who has a physical disability, has no private vehicle, lives in a flood plain, and has no homeowner’s insurance? What infrastructure and other improvements are we implementing that will effectively strengthen her resilience to the next disaster? What about the African American child with asthma who lives next to a coal plant? What will we do to strengthen his resilience as he faces the next heat wave which concentrates pollution, activates his asthma, and jeopardizes his life? How do we make sure he has access for emergency health needs while working on the political context that allows 68% of African Americans to be situated near these facilities?
As a conversation-starter for deepening work around incorporating intersectionality in equitable adaptation planning, the NAACP has developed a sample list of indicators/measures of vulnerability and resilience in terms of infrastructure, community/population characteristics, systems, policies, programs/services, protocols , and governance/decision making. This is not an inclusive list. Because these are examples, the indicators span the impacts of climate change including shifts in agricultural yields, sea level rise, and extreme weather.