Establishing Climate Resiliency and Achieving Energy Independence
Sierra Business Council's Climate & Energy Team assists communities throughout the Sierra to proactively plan for climate change by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adapting to changes already impacting the Sierra.
Communities in the Sierra are uniquely vulnerable to climate change and other rural issues. We work closely with local governments, businesses, and communities throughout the Sierra Nevada to give them the tools they need to address climate change and build a more resilient region.
Our Climate Action program empowers local governments and communities to advance their own climate goals through effective research, data analysis, facilitation, tracking, reporting, and clear action plans. We work to empower the region to build capacity around climate mitigation and adaptation efforts tailored to each community’s specific needs.
We focus on climate education, adaptation, and mitigation because the effects of climate change are already occurring and are among the greatest threats to the region. Increased wildfire risk, extended drought, shrinking snowpack, increased flood risk, and decreased tourism revenue are anticipated climate-caused impacts. We can minimize risk and create opportunities by planning in advance and acting now.
Areas of Impact
Sierra Business Council's Climate Action team works towards a more resilient Sierra, saves communities money, and increases energy independence throughout the region.
Community Education & Outreach
Sierra Business Council’s Climate Action team bridges the gap between government and community needs. SBC facilitates participatory processes and distills complex technical concepts into accessible and engaging messages. We convene climate and energy stakeholders, information, and resources as well as translate technical information for practical use. We also develop community working groups to support the initial stage of implementation of climate initiatives in the Sierra by making direct contact with communities and establishing and documenting state-required stakeholder engagement.
Local Government Planning & Policy Development
We have developed and supported the implementation of over a dozen Energy Action Plans (EAPs) and Climate Action Plans (CAPs) that serve as roadmaps for communities to follow while achieving their climate and energy goals. In this work, we support state mandates for reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), update general plans, and support climate resilience at the local level by facilitating the development, adoption, and implementation of climate planning initiatives in Sierra.
Catalyzing Climate Projects
Sierra Business Council projects are notable for their collaborative process, broad application, and positive impact on local communities. We identify and connect local governments and communities to available funding opportunities to address climate resilience, mitigation, and adaptation in the Sierra. We help jurisdictions and organizations obtain funding by providing grant writing services and financing application processing.
Our team members closely track and contribute to broader climate efforts through our involvement with both formal and ad hoc organizations. We are involved in and lead several statewide and regional climate collaboratives. Our public outreach is inclusive and effective because we understand the importance of establishing common ground and building rapport in groups with diverse and sometimes conflicting opinions.
ReCent Blogs & Updates:
Sierra CAMP, a program of Sierra Business Council, is currently undertaking a regional vulnerability assessment to examine how Sierra Nevada communities will be affected by projected climate changes. We have already seen the massive impact that climate change can have in its multiple forms on our communities in the mountains. Climate change leaves our homes and businesses vulnerable to wildfire and floods, it impacts the clarity of our lakes and rivers, and challenges our recreation patterns as we navigate the changes in snow and temperature year round. The goal of the vulnerability assessment is to better understand and measure the impacts of climate change on our social and economic systems that are inextricably linked to our natural environment.
Outside of my role on SBC’s Climate and Energy team, I am also a small business owner and actively involved in the fiber arts community of the Sierra Nevada, designing knitting patterns and working with locally produced yarn. Over the years my two worlds – climate planning and knitting – have become increasingly intertwined, thanks to a concept called FIbershed.
This old saying perfectly describes my realization of how special the Independence Trail was for our community. Lighting struck repeatedly throughout the night on August 17th, igniting dry fuel in our foothills refuge of Nevada City and across the state of California.