CNU-California works to explain the differences between climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation to the residents of our state. View the video of CNU-California Board chair Howard Blackson outline the CNU-California perspective on this important issue.
As an instrument of mitigation, urbanism has already acquired a place at the highest levels of policy.
Now, CNU-California is working with the CNU Council on Climate Adaption to develop a version of New Urbanism that will provide the primary matrix for Adaptation. In the worldwide campaign for mitigation, urbanism was recognized too late to provide as much benefit as it might have. But in the campaign for Adaptation, CNU is working to ensure that urbanism is at the center of planning.
Katharine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist, says that she writes “about the things I’m interested in: the fascinating nuances of climate science, why a changing climate matters to real people, how we’re going to solve it . . .” Her website includes her biography, posts, events and FRQs – great resource to look at: katharinehayhoe.com
Mitigation is the reduction of greenhouses gases to slow the progress of climate change and to reduce its eventual impacts. Good mitigation practices can cover the full range of the choices we make in our daily lives, from where we live to how we travel to what we consume. CNU-California is working to point out better options for many of our actions.
Climate change adaptation is the modifications we must make in our world as a result of climate change, from adjusting to sea-level rise to refining agricultural practices in response to higher temperatures and uncertain water supplies to reacting to the reduced availability of regional transportation. Working with respected partners, CNU-California has much to offer in all these areas.
Research & Resources
There are a number of tools readily available to help decision makers, designers and everyday citizens understand climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. A collection of CNU research, tools for Climate Change and news relivent the CUN-California’s work to ‘envision a plan for an adaptive future’ can be found here.
Recognizing the essential role that CNU must play in climate adaptation, CNU is creating a Climate Adaptation Council. The first act of the new council will be a joint meeting in early 2020 with CNU-California to begin plotting an adaptation future for the state. The planning won’t assume a failure of mitigation but will assure that California is prepared if mitigation isn’t sufficient.
New Urbanism isn’t dead — but thanks to climate change, it is evolving. On September 29 – 30, 2017 CNU began to define the role of New Urbanism in the climate change conversation. CNU movement pioneers Andrés Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Peter Calthorpe joined with dozens of others at a Climate Summit hosted by the Congress for New Urbanism (CNU). The challenges outlined there — and the envisioned solutions — could signal the movement’s rebirth.
The CNU California chapter is actively working towards envisioning a plan for an adaptive future.
Under the current rate of change, summertime temperatures in San Francisco California will feel like South Monterey County by 2030 and Los Angeles by 2080.
Climate change adaptation and mitigation are both equally important and time-sensitive and we need to do both. You can help mitigate climate change by reducing emissions in your own life, letting your representatives know you support climate-smart policies, and supporting businesses and organizations embracing renewable energy.
Climate change is a serious problem, but our planet can continue to thrive if we all work together to both avoid the worst impacts and adapt to our changing world.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change. The IPCC is a great resource for gaining a science based understanding of climate change.
The IPCC describes vulnerability to climate change as being determined by three factors: exposure to hazards (such as reduced rainfall), sensitivity to those hazards (such as an economy dominated by rain-fed agriculture), and the capacity to adapt to those hazards (for example, whether farmers have the money or skills to grow more drought-resistant crops). Adaptation measures can help reduce vulnerability – for example by lowering sensitivity or building adaptive capacity – as well as allowing populations to benefit from opportunities of climatic changes, such as growing new crops in areas that were previously unsuitable.