Preparing for the Effects of Climate Change - A Strategy for California

California's 2009 Climate Change Adaptation Strategy called for an independent, non-partisan group of private citizens to act as an adaptation advisory panel to the state. On December 2, 2009, then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that the Pacific Council’s Task Force on California’s Adaptation to Climate Change would act as the Climate Adaptation Advisory Panel to California. The purpose of the Panel, as called for in the state's Strategy, is to identify the most significant threats facing California as a result of climate change, and to make recommendations to reduce the state's vulnerability to those threats.

This is the first report by the Climate Adaptation Advisory Panel. The Panel focused on the most recognized threats from accelerated climate change, including sea-level rise, decreases in water supply and snowpack and extended drought seasons, and increases in wildfires and the wildfire season - selected on the basis of the cumulative, multiple and tangible effects the state will likely have, as well as the likeliness to occur. 

The members of the Panel, aided by scientists and experts, divided into teams to examine each threat and develop recommendations. These were organized into two tiers: those that span all three threats are listed as overall key recommendations in the report, and those applicable in the specific threat areas (fire, water, and sea level rise) are relayed in subsequent sections. Reports, recommendations, and localized case studies are detailed for each of the three threat areas. 

Key recommendations are to: 

1. Increase monitoring and data gathering on the uses of and changes to the State’s natural resources and land-use patterns in areas with a high probability of being affected by climate change
2. Establish a Climate Risk Council (CRC) for California
3. Improve communication and coordination across levels of government and economic sectors in planning
4. Align incentives for proactive adaptive management and to fund large scale community-based adaptation projects




Publication Date: November 2010

Related Organizations:

  • California Adaptation Advisory Panel
  • Pacific Council on International Policy
  • State of California


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Policy analysis/recommendations

States Affected:


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