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California moves climate adaption to front burner

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p>A 20% reduction in per capita water use by 2020 is among the goals outlined in a new California report on adapting to climate change.

Most of California’s high-profile climate initiatives (and battles) have been about mitigation; how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to slow down warming. This latest report swings the spotlight over to adaptation; what needs to be done to accommodate the climate change effects that are “already in the pipeline.”

Tony Brunello, Deputy Secretary for Climate Change and Energy at the California Natural Resources Agency, said: ‘This is the first report that really looks at how climate change is going to impact the state and what we need to do about it.”

But Brunello stopped short of conceding that mitigation is a lost cause. “You only have half a deck if you’re only focussed on mitigation, he added. “You need to focus on both mitigation and adaptation to truly be prepared.”

Some strategies, he said, attack both. He pointed to water conservation measures, which save both water and energy (20% of energy used in California is deployed in moving water from place to another).

Source: Alliance for Water Efficiency

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