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May 13

CAP 2.0 Project Updates and Fourth National Climate Assessment

Posted on May 13, 2019 at 5:08 PM by Elena Domingo

Originally Written December 11, 2018 

The Climate Action Plan 2.0 (CAP2.0) Project Team concluded the second round of Eugene Climate Collaborative (ECC) meetings last week.  This series of six meetings brought together members from each ECC partner organization. Together we reviewed data about Eugene’s forecasted reduction in fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and discussed actions each organization has committed to moving forward on over the next 5-10 years.

The analysis reveals a significant gap between actions our community is ready to commit to and the CRO goals.  We are in the process of creating a list of additional actions that can help the community fill this gap.  The Project Team will present that list to City Council at a work session expected to be held in February 2019.  For more information on the CAP 2.0 visit our website at https://www.eugene-or.gov/cap. 

In related climate news, the Fourth National Climate Assessment vol. two (NCA) was released in November 2018.  A chapter specific to the Northwest confirms many of the findings in the Eugene Future Physical Conditions White Paper by our technical consultant, Good Company, as part of the CAP2.0.  It also aligns with Governor Kate Brown’s recently published Oregon Climate Agenda. The NCA reaffirms the need to take a Triple Bottom Line perspective to addressing climate change.  The impacts of climate change will be felt acutely by marginalized communities, will have important impacts on our economy, and will lead to significant changes to our natural environment.  See the summary below for five key messages from the NCA Northwest Chapter.

Five key messages from the NCA Northwest Chapter:

  • Natural Resource Economy:  Climate change is already affecting the Northwest’s diverse natural resources.  Economic consequences will depend on future market dynamics, management actions, and adaptation efforts. Proactive management can increase the resilience of many natural resources and their associated economies.

  • Natural World and Cultural Heritage: Climate change and extreme events are already endangering the well-being of a wide range of wildlife, fish, and plants, which are intimately tied to tribal subsistence culture and popular outdoor recreation activities. Adaptation and informed management, especially culturally appropriate strategies, will likely increase the resilience of the region’s natural capital.

  • Infrastructure: Existing water, transportation, and energy infrastructure already face challenges from flooding, landslides, drought, wildfire, and heat waves. Climate change is projected to increase the risks from many of these extreme events, potentially compromising the reliability of water supplies, hydropower, and transportation across the region.

  • Health: Organizations and volunteers that make up the Northwest’s social safety net are already stretched thin with current demands. Healthcare and social systems will likely be further challenged with the increasing frequency of acute events, or when cascading events occur. In addition to an increased likelihood of hazards and epidemics, disruptions in local economies and food systems are projected to result in more chronic health risks.

  • Frontline Communities: Communities on the front lines of climate change experience the first, and often the worst, effects. Frontline communities in the Northwest include tribes and Indigenous peoples, those most dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods, and the economically disadvantaged. These communities generally prioritize basic needs, such as shelter, food, and transportation; frequently lack economic and political capital; and have fewer resources to prepare for and cope with climate disruptions.