TPR – Climate Resolve’s Parfrey on Prioritizing Extreme Heat Resilience

Following the release of Governor Newsom’s May Budget revise, which projects a staggering $100 billion surplus, The Planning Report sat down with Jonathan Parfrey, Executive Director of Climate Resolve, to reflect on what is and is not likely to be included in the California Comeback Plan and what that reveals about the state’s climate priorities. Noting that extreme heat presents the greatest threat to public health from climate change, Parfrey highlights the need for a coordinated statewide approach to mitigating and protecting people from extreme heat and points to solutions like preserving urban tree canopy, cultivating living streets, and building cool roofs as opportunities for multi-benefit investments in public health and climate resilience.

“The number one source of heat in our cities is from asphalt surfaces, whether those are streets, playgrounds, parking lots, or even rooftops…The smartest thing that we can do to protect public health is to find ways to mitigate the heat that’s hitting these asphalt surfaces.” —Jonathan Parfrey

“A living street is a green street where you can capture stormwater, a complete street where you’re enhancing active transportation such as walking or cycling, and a cool street that will reflect the sun’s energy back into space and help keep the neighborhood cooler.” —Jonathan Parfrey

Jonathan, we do this interview following the release of Governor Newsom’s May budget revise, which, in contrast to last year’s $54 billion shortfall, includes $100 billion for what the Governor’s calling the California Comeback Plan. What new state climate investments are (and are likely to be) included in the State Budget about which Climate Resolve is most enthusiastic?

Jonathan Parfrey: There have been some tremendous investments in the area of climate resilience. There’s funding in there to help cities prepare for the impacts of climate change. There’s money in there to fund the next round of much-needed science in the fifth Climate Change assessment. There’s money in there to support new climate justice collaboratives that were spurred by the legislation SB 1072 that’s going to help low income communities work with local municipalities to develop proposals and to have a joint approach to getting climate projects in the ground throughout the state. There’s funding in there for the Transformative Climate Communities, which will also help disadvantaged communities.

We’re very supportive of those initiatives. There’s also some funding in there to support the Department of Food and Agriculture to convert some of their County Fairgrounds to become resilience centers for rural parts of the state. We think that’s a great idea for the rural parts of California. Unfortunately, we don’t find a lot of funding for the urban centers in this budget.

Where does the proposed State budget fall short?

The May revise has some funding for the Solutions to Congested Corridors Program (SCCP) through Transportation California, and those are really important funds that we’re very much in favor of. The things that didn’t get funded were some of the active transportation programs. I also alluded to the local funding for resilience for the urban centers of California. I love the Fairplex and the fairgrounds up in Lancaster, but it’s just not realistic for the urban cores of California to rely upon fairgrounds for their resilience needs. We think there needs to be a dramatic change in the priorities of the state in helping the vast majority of the population deal with the impacts of climate change.

Another area that really concerns me is heat. The number one impact of climate change is going to be the public health impacts from heat exposure and heatstroke. The number one source of heat in our cities is from asphalt surfaces, whether those are streets, playgrounds, parking lots, or even rooftops. The sunlight hits those surfaces, it gets absorbed by the streets, and then vents off that heat into the rest of the day and into the evening. The smartest thing that we can do to protect public health is to find ways to mitigate the heat that’s hitting all these asphalt surfaces.

For more, go to /www.planningreport.com/2021/06/14/climate-resolve-s-jonathan-parfrey-extreme-heat-resilience

Ting Internet is in Culver City!

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*