What Can the Bay Area Do About Rising Seas? East Palo Alto Has a Few Great Answers

A recent article in KQED News showcases East Palo Alto's community-led efforts to adapt to climate change. The town of 30,000 is one of the most vulnerable localities to rising sea levels in the Bay Area; two-thirds of the city could experience regular flooding within a decade and high-tide inundation by mid-century. East Palo Alto is also a community of color, with a 66% Latino population and a significant number of Pacific Islanders, some of whom previously fled rising seas in the South Pacific.

Stinson Beach to devise sea-level rise defense plan

Stinson Beach is launching a multi-year effort to create a sea level rise adaptation plan, as reported by the Marin Independent Journal. The plan would determine how and when the community, which is the most threatened on the Marin ocean coastline, can protect itself against sea levels that could rise by up to 10 feet by the end of the century. The plan would be completed in 2024 and include a list of potential projects and funding options.

High ground, high prices: How climate change is speeding gentrification

A recent article in CNN highlights how climate change is accelerating gentrification as wealthier people seek to move to neighborhoods of lower climate risk, such as those situated on higher elevation and less prone to floods. The article highlights gentrification in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina, where the share of Black population in Census tracts with the highest median elevations — those a meter or more above sea level — fell by more than a third between 2000 and 2019.

What Will Happen to Your Next Home if Builders Get Their Way?

An article in the New York Times today highlights the building industry's efforts to influence building codes, which are typically adopted by states and local governments every three years, often relying on influential models set by the International Code Council. These building codes protect homeowners from sustaining damage in extreme weather events, and reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions from buildings.

How COVID Put a $10 Billion Emergency on the Back Burner

A recent article by NBC Bay Area highlights how the Covid-19 pandemic, and the ensuing fiscal crisis, has resulted in a number of critical climate adaptation projects and initiatives being delayed or put on hold as local, regional and state government budgets are squeezed. The article highlights a number of projects and policies to cope with climate impacts that have been delayed due to Covid-19, including a $4.7 billion climate resilience bond proposed by the Governor's office that was shelved.

SF Bay is rising - are we moving fast enough to adapt?

An article published in the San Francisco Chronicle today underscores the urgent need for action to address sea level rise on the Bay Area's 400 miles of shoreline, the costs of which could approach $100 billion over time. The article highlights some of the innovative financing and regulatory developments that have occurred to facilitate adaptation actions, with a specific focus on wetland restoration to create buffers against rising seas.

Climate Change Is Hitting the Insurance Industry Hard. Here’s How Swiss Re Is Adapting

A recent article in Fortune describes the measures that Swiss Re, the world's largest re-insurance company, are taking to adapt its business model to the realities of climate change and to divert its investments and insurance away from dirty, risky industries such as coal.

As Climate Risk Grows, Cities Test a Tough Strategy: Saying ‘No’ to Developers

An article posted in the New York Times this week highlights the alarming rate of climate-vulnerable development occurring across the country and the measures that cities are taking to combat it, including imposing new rules on developers on building homes in floodplains, providing financial assistance for rebuilding in the wake of a storm, and rejecting proposed developments in floodplains outright.