The Golden State is one of the top states in the nation in pursuing effective climate change preparedness, according to a report published by the Natural Resources Defense Council.
In the report titled “Ready or Not: An Evaluation of State Climate and Water Preparedness Planning”, California was among nine other states, including Washington and Oregon, that achieved a high ranking. The lowest ranked states included Texas, Utah and Indiana.
“Because of the significant risks to the state from increasing temperatures, changes in precipitation, sea level rise, and ocean acidification, California has been one of the leading states in the U.S. on climate change action,” according to the report.
The report analyzed how well state governments are planning to deal with the water related impacts of climate change. Each state was then categorized into one of four categories based on their individual preparedness actions, according to the report.
Those engaged in high level of preparedness were placed in categories one and two, and those lagging behind were placed in categories three and four. Category one states included those that have “developed an integrated and comprehensive adaption plan that addresses all relevant water sectors and state agencies, and the state is working on implementation.”
On a local level, grant from the State’s Strategic Growth Council to create a long-term plan toward reducing and eventually eliminating the city’s carbon footprint.
The Strategic Growth Council was cited in the report as one of the many mitigating factors that helped California earn its top ranking. According to the report, the state’s Strategic Growth Council is requiring sustainable communities planning grant proposals include considerations to address sea level increases.
Several California programs were cited in the report as recommendations of the standard other states should model in order to address the impacts of climate change.
Some of the programs cited in the report included California’s Air Resource Board cap-and-trade program, aiming to reduce major greenhouse gas emissions, the state’s Climate Action Team and the California Environmental Quality Act, which was modified in 2009 to take into account the potential climate impact of “new planning and development activities.”
According to the report, the state’s Department of Fish Game was also cited due to efforts to include a greater presence of climate "change impacts and adaptation planning in the next California Wildlife Action Plan," which is due in 2015.
To read the full report and learn more about the many other programs that helped California attain its high ranking view the PDF file attached to this post.