Adapting to Climate Change in the Bay Area
On June 17, BC3 members gathered for a brown bag lunch at BC3 partner SPUR's office in downtown San Francisco to discuss strategies for adapting to climate change in the Bay Area. The meeting centered around SPUR's newly released climate report, Climate Change Hits Home, which reflects two years of work evaluating climate change impacts and policies, and includes recommendations for how the Bay Area can prepare.
At the event, SPUR report author Laura Tam provided a brief overview of the Bay Area's vulnerabilities to climate change, including susceptibility to heat waves, water shortages, storm surges, and sea level rise. She then reviewed several adaptation strategies, such as building more resilient transit systems, creating levee systems to protect vulnerable infrastructure, and increasing wetlands.
ESA's Jeremy Lowe discussed threats to the Bay Area's low-lying infrastructure, such as landfills, water treatment plants, storm drains, utility corridors, and railroads perceptible to erosion and sea level rise. He stressed that any adaptation strategy should include planning for new levees, realignment of existing ones, and terraced levees. Last, Alexandra MacKie of PG&E reviewed PG&E's climate adaptation strategy, including the potential impacts of climate change on PG&E's infrastructure and power production, and increased electricity demand from rising temperatures.
During the Q&A, BC3 members discussed how businesses should plan for climate change by conducting analysis of vulnerabilities to climate impacts, understanding risk to business operations, and providing building flexibility into future planning scenarios to accommodate climate uncertainty. Members also discussed methods of communicating climate change, the costs of infrastructure upgrades, and how to encourage businesses to develop long-term climate adaptation plans.