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Resilient Virginia News: June 2018

Resilient Virginia

What’s New

Resilient Virginia: Priorities and Approaches for the Next Four Years

Resilient Virginia’s Board of Directors has set a path for the organization’s next four years that will focus on a number of resiliency topics deemed priorities at our February “Virginia’s Sustainable Future Meeting.” The organization views these priorities — that include energy and food security, water management and infrastructure adaptation, health and economic stability, and ecosystem valuation — through the lens of rural and urban communities’ interdependencies as they all address a growing range of climate-driven and national security challenges. Below is a graphic representation of the shared issues and as well as resiliency topics more focused on the rural or urban areas.

Urban-Rural Interdependence

Resilient Virginia is moving ahead to “Inform, Educate, and Activate” community members, governments, and businesses about these priority areas by implementing actions that include the following:

  • For 2018 and beyond: Resilient Virginia is partnering with like-minded organizations to co-host or participate in educational events. This Spring we co-hosted events with the US Green Building Council, Science Museum of Virginia, and Arlington Home Show. In addition, Annette Osso, Resilient Virginia’s Managing Director, participated as the NGO member of the National Capital Region Team invited to the Building Resilient Communities Leadership Academy, a 3-day workshop hosted by the Institute for Sustainable Communities. This summer Resilient Virginia’s Annette Osso will be speaking at the Leaders in Energy’s “Green Leaders for Local Impact Retreat” on June 8 (see article below), and again co-hosting presentations with the USGBC Virginia (see article below).
  • Resilient Virginia will organize an October 2018 Rural Resiliency Roundtable Forum to focus on issues of special importance to rural and agricultural communities. You are invited to participate in the Planning Committee for this event by contacting Annette Osso (osso@resilientvirginia.org).
  • Our next statewide Resilient Virginia Conference will take place in the Spring of 2019. Planning for this event will begin in September 2018. Contact Annette Osso (osso@resilientvirginia.org) to be included on the Planning Committee.

You are invited to our July 19th Annual Meeting to hear more details about upcoming Resilient Virginia activities, to meet our Board and Advisory members, and to add your voice on local communities’ and state agencies’ resiliency priorities. We will share more details about this upcoming event in the near future!
Resilient Virginia invites your active support for these new initiatives by:


Resiliency Explained: Annette Osso, Managing Director, Resilient Virginia Interviewed by Virginia Delegate Ken Plum

Resiliency Explained: Annette Osso, Managing Director, Resilient Virginia Interviewed by Virginia Delegate Ken Plum

We want to thank State Delegate Ken Plum for inviting Annette Osso, Resilient Virginia’s Managing Director, to provide an informative interview about the past, present, and future of resiliency planning in Virginia.

This appeared on his weekly broadcast on the Reston Comcast Channel May 8 and 9.

You can view the program here and on the Resilient Virginia YouTube Channel.


Global Cooperation for a Better World: Taking Action at the City and Local Level

By Janine Finnell, NCAC-USAEE Member and Executive Director, Leaders in Energy

Leaders in Energy(Editor’s Note: Janine Finnell’s Leaders in Energy organization has been a Resilient Virginia Annual Sponsor and event partner for two years. Annette Osso, Resilient Virginia’s Managing Director, will again be involved with this organization as one of the speakers at their June 8 event, “Green Leaders for Local Impact.” We provide this background article by Janine Finnell on linking the UN Sustainable Development Goals to local actions.)

Our planet and its inhabitants face numerous challenges ranging from people not having enough to eat, threats to biodiversity, growing inequality, and pollution that is changing our planet’s capacity to provide sustainable livelihoods due to climate change. This is a tall order of concerns.

Suppose there was an “Innovation Jam” where everyone in the world got together to see what could be done about these issues. In 2015, the United Nations did something along these lines. It conducted a consultation among 5 million people from across 88 countries in all the world’s regions asking for their shared vision for the world in 2030. The result is the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals

The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals

Three U.S. cities have been at the forefront in working to operationalize these goals into their urban planning programs. These include Baltimore, New York, and San Jose. In addition, a recent report titled “The U.S. Cities Sustainable Development Goals Index 2017: Achieving a Sustainable Urban America” examined progress being made towards sustainable development in the 100 most populous U.S. cities.

A fun quiz called “Which Goals Are You?” helps those who are new to the UN SDGs to identify the ones that that most resonate with their own personal interests.

Communities in the greater Washington area can also benefit from the SDGs, while also making our world a better place.

In that spirit, a “Green Leaders for Local Impact Retreat” will be held in Arlington, VA hosted by Leaders in Energy on June 8th, from 1–5 pm. The retreat will examine several UN SDGs, including #7 on clean energy, to explore actionable solutions to create more sustainable LOCAL communities in the DMV region. Won’t you join us in seeking to make a Green LOCAL impact with local SDGs?


USGBC Virginia and Resilient Virginia Offer Resiliency Education Series

The series will share tools and strategies for building practitioners, community leaders and resiliency advocates.

Published on April 25, 2018 at https://www.usgbc.org/

USGBC-VirginiaBy Cindy Zork, Director, Community — Virginia & Tennessee, U.S. Green Building Council

(Editor’s Note: Resilient Virginia and USGBC Virginia have embarked on a joint resiliency education series of presentations. This article by Cindy Zork provides some information on the USGBC resiliency activities at the national policy level and in Virginia.)

In accordance with the 2014 industry statement on resilience released by the U.S. design and construction industry, USGBC recognizes that “natural and manmade hazards pose an increasing threat to the safety of the public and the vitality of our nation.” Addressing issues of community resilience are critical to better preparing and recovering from these hazards.

The USGBC Virginia community is partnering with Resilient Virginia to provide education focused on improving the resilience of buildings, infrastructure and communities in the Commonwealth. Preparing for harmful events with sustainable planning and policy can save money and accelerate recovery.

Join us for our 2018 Resiliency Education series to learn more about tools and strategies available to building practitioners, community leaders and resiliency advocates. Our first session, held in Roanoke in March, focused on the city’s use of the Envision Rating System for Sustainable Infrastructure.

Future events are listed below. USGBC community members and Resilient Virginia members receive a discounted rate to attend. One hour of GBCI CE credit will be offered where applicable.

Resiliency Education Series Dates

When: June 12, 12 noon–1:00 pm
What: Shaken, Not Stirred: Community and Building Resilience—The Means to It and Its Measures
Presented by Dan Slone, Vertical Vision PLC
Where: Charlottesville, VA
Register for the June session.
Read more about the new RELi design standards.

When: July 17, 12 noon–1:30pm
What: Collaboratory: University/Government/Industry Collaborations on Flooding Adaptation
Presented by Skip Stiles, Wetlands Watch.
Where: Hampton Roads, location TBD
Register for the July session.

Dates for additional events in Richmond and Northern Virginia will be announced soon.


GoGreen Virginia: Your Local Government’s Guidepost to Sustainability and Resiliency

Go Green VirginiaGo Green Virginia is celebrating its 10th year as a pathway to sustainability and energy savings for cities, towns, and counties around the Commonwealth. The program, working with the Virginia Municipal League (VML) and Virginia Association of Counties (VACO), provides a guide to communities and sets up an annual friendly competition known as the Green Government Challenge. The “Challenge” is designed to encourage implementation of specific environmental policies and practical actions that not only reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainability initiatives, but can save local governments money.

Resilient Virginia is pleased to have been actively involved on the Advisory Committee over the past three years. In 2016 we were invited to add the newly created “Resiliency Checklist” to the GoGreen Virginia document. For the 2018 GoGreen Challenge, we are happy to report that resiliency is highlighted in several ways throughout the Challenge. For example, Item One provides points to communities that “Adopt a resolution focused on environmental stewardship, sustainability, or resiliency.” In addition, key resiliency aspects for local government planning and actions are highlighted in the Resiliency Section (Items 85–93).

We encourage local governments to weigh in on the Resiliency Section this year, since Virginia communities are facing increasingly more frequent weather and environmental challenges. These include extreme weather events and intermittent drought conditions, and well as the increased occurrence of extreme heat events, periodic flooding, sea level rise, and new health risks.

Resilient communities are better able to bounce back from disasters and disruptions in a sustainable way, while maintaining a vibrant quality of life for community members. In the long term, they are better prepared for uncertainties and able to adapt to changing conditions.

The Go Green Challenge for local governments opened May 15; check out the details at http://www.gogreenva.org/. Local governments can garner points by taking specific actions and be recognized as certified, silver, gold or platinum green governments.

Important dates for cities, towns, and counties that want to enter the Green Government Challenge:

VML Green Government Challenge deadline: September 3, 2018.

VACO Green Government Challenge deadline: October 5, 2018.


Thanks to Our 2017–2018 Annual Sponsors


Platinum Sponsor

logo-marionenterprisesCommunity Leader Sponsor

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Lifeboat Sponsors

Hazen and Sawyer
Village Sponsors

2RW: Energy By Design

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Resilience Events Calendar

Summer 2018 Event Highlights — Add these special events co-hosted by Resilient Virginia to your calendar

June 8, 1:00–5:00pm: Green Leaders for Local Impact Retreat. Presented by Leaders in Energy Event, Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA. Click here for details.

June 12, 12 Noon–1:00pm: Daniel Slone, Vertical Vision, PLC, Shaken, Not Stirred: Community and Building Resilience. Co-hosted by USGBC Virginia and Resilient Virginia, City Space, Charlottesville, VA. Click here for details.

July 17, 12 Noon–1:30pm: Skip Stiles, Wetland Watch, Collaborations on Flooding Adaptation, Hampton Roads. Co-hosted by USGBC Virginia and Resilient Virginia, Location TBD. Click here for details.

July 19: Resilient Virginia Annual Meeting. Members, supporters, and partners are invited to participate and learn more about the Resilient Virginia new Strategic Plan, network, and add your voice to resiliency planning. Look for more details and registration information coming soon!

Check our Resilient Events Calendar on a regular basis to find out what is happening in Virginia, around the nation, and virtually through webinars.


Be Resilient and Stay Cool This Summer — Join Today!Membership — Be Resilient and Stay Cool This Summer — Join Today!

Resilient Virginia is on a mission to

*Inform   *Educate   and   *Activate

Virginia communities to build resiliency in the face of challenges to community prosperity, national security, and changing climate.

You can help by:

Becoming a Member
Signing on as an Annual Sponsor

Continue your support throughout the year by using one or both of these online shopping sites that contribute to Resilient Virginia:

amazon-smile

goodshop

JOIN TODAY — IT’S OUR FUTURE!

Resilient Virginia News: March 2018

Resilient Virginia

What’s New

Resilient Virginia’s First Three Years and a Look Ahead

Virginia Sustainable Future MeetingThree years have gone by rapidly since Resilient Virginia set out on its mission to accelerate resiliency planning in communities across the Commonwealth. We had an opportunity to give an overview of Resilient Virginia’s accomplishments at our February 2nd Virginia Sustainable Future Meeting. We appreciate the time and ideas that our expert guests contributed. We especially appreciate that Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring and Secretary of Natural Resources Matt Strickler participated in the event.

Priorities for the future highlighted at the meeting include:

  1. The need for a state-level resiliency framework under which to organize state, regional, and local policy and programs;
  2. The need for education and coalition building to foster the positive public will to support action on resiliency policies and programs;
  3. Investigating innovative financing mechanisms for infrastructure adaptation strategies;
  4. Establishing commonly accepted models for risk assessment and consistent standards for resiliency;
  5. Creating a clear business case for resiliency actions;
  6. Building an understanding of rural and urban interdependence;
  7. Fostering an understanding of the role of clean energy and resilient building design in providing solutions;
  8. Highlighting the role of healthy communities and attention to vulnerable populations as components of resilient communities.

Resilient Virginia will take these priorities into consideration as it creates its workplan for the next four years. We will explore expanded ways to assist communities in both urban and rural areas with understanding the need for resiliency planning and to help them access tools for adopting action plans.

You can assist Resilient Virginia in formulating and carrying out our third Resilient Virginia Conference and other new initiatives by becoming a member or sponsorand by joining our working committees. Contact Annette Osso, Managing Director, at osso@resilientvirginia.org.


Sea Level Rise Preparedness: An Intergovernmental Pilot Project as a Blueprint for Community Resiliency

Sea Level Rise Preparedness

Editor’s note: In 2014, a Hampton Roads initiative to learn more about and create solutions to sea level rise and flooding was initiated by public, private, and academic leaders in that community. We will share an overview of this initiative, along with the final report. In subsequent newsletters, we will focus attention on other parts of the state where community leaders are starting down the path toward resiliency. The author of this article, Rear Admiral Ann C. Phillips, US Navy (Retired), chaired the Infrastructure Working Group for the Hampton Roads Intergovernmental Pilot Project from 2014–2016. See highlights of the article in this newsletter and the complete article here.

Sea Level Rise PreparednessThe Hampton Roads Sea Level Rise Preparedness and Resilience Intergovernmental Pilot Project (IPP) (convened by Old Dominion University and launched in June 2014) was one of four National Security Council pilots and three Department of Defense pilots established to prepare the United States for the impacts of a changing climate.

Hampton Roads localities (including Norfolk, Hampton, Newport News, Portsmouth, and Virginia Beach), four Cabinet Departments of Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, 11 Federal Agencies (including DOD, Army, Navy, Air Force), DHS (U.S. Coast Guard), DOT, DOE, Port of Virginia, VDOT, HRPDC, HRTPO, HRSD, and a variety of private businesses and non-profits worked together over two years to develop recommendations and strategies for cooperative resilience planning. Throughout the process, more than 200 regional professionals participated in voluntary working groups, committees, and stakeholder events.

Storm surge map courtesy of chesapeakeclimate.org

Storm surge map courtesy of chesapeakeclimate.org

The IPP’s stated mission was that upon completion of the two-year effort, Hampton Roads would have a path to establish a regional Whole of Government and Whole of Community organizational framework, along with recommended procedures to effectively coordinate sea level rise preparedness and resilience planning for the region. Further, the IPP’s vision and the National Security Council’s objective included the development of this regional framework for Hampton Roads as a template that could be used for other regions.

Desired Outcomes: The Pilot Project identified five key desired outcomes to help Hampton Roads move forward in adapting to this challenge, shown here as synthesized from case studies and findings across the committees and working groups, and including lessons learned from South Florida, New Orleans, and the Netherlands. They are as follows:

  • Develop and implement common Regional Planning Standards — including, but not limited to common first floor elevation/building codes/GIS attributes/sea level planning scenarios — to facilitate effective regional planning and execution of adaptation efforts.
  • Establish support from a Consortium of Universities — ensure the best possible science, data, and engineering expertise from a non-partisan trusted agent.
  • Establish a Regional Data Center — ensure an independent, centralized ability to collect, analyze, distribute, and respond to regional data needs.
  • Ensure collaborative, prioritized planning and execution — create formalized relationships between Federal/State/Cities/Municipalities/Businesses/Non-profits and Citizens
  • Identify funding strategies and create funding instruments for regional program needs — bring together and prioritize opportunities from multiple sources including federal, state, local government, private industry and non-profits.

Community members learn about sea level riseCommunity members learn about sea level rise from Michelle Covi, Assistant Professor of Practice, Ocean, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Old Dominion University.

The Future: While there are actions and activities underway across the region at every level, the need for the regional collaboration and oversight entity identified by the IPP grows as water levels continue to rise and the land subsides. The IPP showed the tremendous value of regional partnerships working in collaboration across the whole of government and community. Now, it is up to Hampton Roads to seize this opportunity to take the lead in developing collaborative adaptation and mitigation strategies and actions to address to this existential threat — and we have no time to lose!

To view the entire IPP final report and case studies on line, visit ODU Digital Commons.

About the author: Rear Admiral Ann C. Phillips, US Navy (Retired) chaired the Infrastructure Working Group for the Hampton Roads Intergovernmental Pilot Project from 2014-2016. She is now a member of the Advisory Board for the Center for Climate and Security. The opinions expressed are her own.


Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global WarmingDrawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming

Paul Hawken, Executive Director of Project Drawdown and one of the fathers of the sustainability movement, presented an overview of a major new publication at the Champions of Change Sustainability Symposium, held January 8, 2018. The book, Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, is the product of work conducted with over two hundred scholars, students, scientists, researchers, and activists who analyzed extensive data gathered from around the world. They produced what they consider the one hundred most substantive solutions than can cumulatively reverse global warming by reducing and sequestering greenhouse gases.

By “doing the math” and focusing on technological, ecological, and behavioral solutions, the research team produced their results. Top categories of solutions include those associated with food (changing production methods, reducing food waste, switching to plant-rich diets), electricity generation (ramping up wind and solar production), and land (including proper land management and reforestation).

Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global WarmingThanks to GreenBuilder Media, the conference hosts, I am sharing both an article by CEO Sara Gutterman and Paul Hawken’s presentation here and on the Resilient Virginia YouTube channel.

Farm photo courtesy of regenerationinternational.org; renewable energy photo courtesy of Financial Tribune.


KidWind ChallengeKidWind Challenge: The Best Program You’ve Probably Never Heard Of!

Kids from middle and high schools around Virginia will be showing off their knowledge about designing and building wind turbines again this year during March events that make up the 2018 KidWind Challenges. This program, hosted by the James Madison University Center for Wind Energy, has been an opportunity for children to “learn by doing” since 2012, and has involved over 1,300 students, coaches, judges, and volunteers and 170 schools.

The students are judged in three areas: 1) turbine performance, 2) turbine design quality and process, and 3) knowledge of the wind industry. The CWE hosts three regional qualifying KidWind Challenges:

  • March 5 at the Science Museum of Western Virginia In Roanoke
  • March 16 at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly
  • March 23 at the Nauticus in Norfolk

The top three teams in each Middle and High School division from each regional Challenge will be invited to compete in the National KidWind Challenge in Chicago, IL at the American Wind Energy Association Windpower Conference in May 2018.
See what Virginia students think about wind energy on our Clean Energy video playlist.

Kids from middle and high schools around Virginia will be showing off their knowledge about designing and building wind turbines again this year during March events that make up the 2018 KidWind Challenges.


Backup Power From Your Electric Car Don’t Just Talk About Backup Power From Your Electric Car — Make It Happen!

You may be considering how to make sure you have backup power in the event of some extreme weather, like 60 mile-per-hour winds that knock out power lines, as happened recently in the Commonwealth. A colleague, Charlie Behrens, whom I met at the Champions of Change Symposium, shared how he utilized the “big battery” in his driveway, i.e. his Nissan Leaf. He used some do-it-yourself expertise to successfully provide emergency power for his Orlando home during recent hurricane-induced power outages. Key ingredients, besides the car, were a 3000W Pure Sine Wave Inverter by Power Tech-On, a circuit breaker to prevent damage to the car’s system, and power cables.

Read the full account here.

— Annette Osso, Editor


Thanks to Our 2017–2018 Annual Sponsors


Platinum Sponsor

logo-marionenterprisesCommunity Leader Sponsor

logo-facility-engineering-assoc
Lifeboat Sponsors

Hazen and Sawyer
Village Sponsors

2RW: Energy By Design

logo-leaders-in-energy


Resilience Events Calendar

Add these special events co-hosted by Resilient Virginia to your calendar

March 19: City of Roanoke and the Envision Standard for Sustainable Infrastructure, 12:00 noon–1:00 pm, Cohosted with USGBC Virginia Community. Location: Co-Lab, 1327 Grandin Road SW, Roanoke, VA 24015. Register today for this special event here.

April 3: Your Home: Cool, Dry and Green, 6:00–8:00 pm, cohosted with Science Museum of Virginia, 2500 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23220. This FREE workshop features Chris McCormick, Green Infrastructure Center; Jeremy Hoffman, SMV Climate Scientist; and Amy Hagerdon, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, with information on keeping your home cooler and dryer with green infrastructure. FREE to participants — you will take home a tree or shrub from TreeLab, a Richmond-based non-profit working to improve the urban environment. You must reserve your seat at this event here.

April 14: Arlington Home Show and Garden Expo, 10:00 am–4:00 pm, co-hosted with Arlington County Housing Division. Held at Kenmore Middle School, 200 South Carlin Springs Road, Arlington, VA 22204. Featuring businesses and county programs with information on home energy efficiency and solar systems, remodeling to age in place, sustainable landscape designs, managing stormwater, financing renovations, and preparing your home and family for extreme storms. Look for more information coming soon on special resiliency workshops.

Check our Resilient Events Calendar on a regular basis to find out what is happening in Virginia, around the nation, and virtually through webinars.


Membership — Always in Season!

Resilient Virginia is on a mission to

*Inform   *Educate   and   *Activate

Virginia communities to build resiliency in the face of challenges to community prosperity, national security, and changing climate.

You can help by:

Becoming a Member
Signing on as an Annual Sponsor

Continue your support throughout the year by using one or both of these online shopping sites that contribute to Resilient Virginia:

amazon-smile

goodshop

JOIN TODAY — IT’S OUR FUTURE!

Resilient Virginia News: November 2017

Resilient Virginia

What’s New

2017 National Climate Assessment, COP 23, and Stateside Commitments

Climate Science Special ReportNational Climate Assessment

The 2017 National Climate Assessment (NCA) Climate Science Special Report (Volume 1) was released on November 3. The National Climate Assessment summarizes the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future.

A team of more than 300 experts guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee produced the report, which was extensively reviewed by the public and experts, including federal agencies and a panel of the National Academy of Sciences. Volume II, Climate Change Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States (NCA4 Vol. II), will be published in early 2018.

The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) was mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act (GCRA) of 1990. Its mandate is to develop and coordinate “a comprehensive and integrated United States research program which will assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.”

droughtEvery four years a new report, developed through extensive input from the latest scientific research, is published and submitted to the President and Congress and to the public. This report assesses the effects of global climate change, both human-induced and natural, on the natural environment, agriculture, energy production and use, land and water resources, transportation, human health and welfare, human social systems, and biological diversity.

A summary of the findings include the following:

  • The report confirms the well-established science behind climate change: it is real, it is human-caused, it is happening faster than predicted, and it poses a tremendous threat to America and the rest of the world.
  • Warming graphThis is now the warmest period in the history of modern civilization. Global annually averaged surface air temperature, and the annually averaged temperature in the U.S., has increased by about 1.8 degrees F (1 degree C) over the last 115 years (1901–2016), with Alaska warming twice as much. Last year was the third year in a row, following 2015 and 2014, to set a new global record for the warmest year. (Click graph for larger image: The last five decades have seen a progressive rise in the Earth’s average surface temperature. Bars show the difference between each decade’s average temperature and the overall average for 1901-2000. (Figure source: NOAA NCDC).)
  • Based on extensive evidence, there is no convincing alternative explanation that anything other than human activity is the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th Century. The global warming of the past 50 years is primarily due to human activities, predominantly the burning of fossil fuels.
  • Global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have now passed 400 parts per million (ppm), a level that last occurred about 3 million years ago, when both global average temperature and sea level were significantly higher than today. Continued growth in these emissions over this century and beyond would lead to an atmospheric concentration not experienced in tens to hundreds of millions of years.
  • floodingHuman-caused climate change has made a substantial contribution to the observed 7–8 inches of global average sea level rise since 1900, the greatest rate of rise in at least 2,800 years. Global average sea level is expected to continue to rise by at least several inches in the next 15 years, and by 1–4 feet by 2100. A rise of as much as 8 feet by 2100 cannot be ruled out.
  • The report also focuses on regions within the US and for the Southeast region, and details the following threats: 1) Sea level rise poses widespread and continuing threats to the region’s economy and environment. 2) Extreme heat will affect health, energy, agriculture, and more. 3) Decreased water availability will have economic and environmental impact.

(Source: World Resources Institute, 11/7/2017)

United Nations COP23 Meeting

The United Nations Climate Change Conference, the 23rd annual “Conference of Parties” (or COP23) took place in Bonn, Germany, November 6–17, 2017. A brief summary at the closing of the meetings indicates that:

1. The 195 countries signing the Paris Agreement remain committed to a collective framework on international climate action. Nicaragua and Syria, the only two countries that had not signed the original Paris Agreement in 2015, indicated their support, while the U.S. government indicated it might consider re-commitment at a later date.

2. The international community has yet to send a strong signal that it is committed to transitioning away from fossil fuels. However, an alliance of 19 countries, headed by the United Kingdom (UK) and Canada, committed to phase-out coal production. In the UK, electricity produced by coal has fallen from 40 percent to 2 percent since 2012.

3. Little progress was made defining specific emissions-cutting guidelines. Activists call for a “robust set of rules,” but that rulebook remains woefully thin. A U.S. government presentation about the necessity of fossil fuels sparked one of the conference’s biggest protests.

(Source: Environmental Health News, November 18, 2017)

America's Pledge reportStateside Commitments

On November 11, 2017, the COP 23 Special Advisor for States and Regions California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and Michael R. Bloomberg, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, released the America’s Pledge report at the U.S. Climate Action Pavilion, a purpose-built exhibition space sponsored by U.S. non-federal leaders at the COP23 meeting.

The report is the first communication to the international community specifically addressing the scope and scale of non-federal climate action in the United States following the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. It captures and quantifies the outpouring of public support for the agreement since the withdrawal announcement, finding that cities, states, and businesses representing more than half the U.S. economy and population have declared their support for the Paris Agreement, including more than 2,300 signatories to the “We Are Still In” declaration.

America's PledgeA total of 20 U.S. states, 110 U.S. cities, and over 1,400 businesses with U.S. operations representing USD $25 trillion in market capitalization and nearly 1.0 gigatons of GHG emissions per year have adopted quantified emissions reduction targets.

“The group of American cities, states, and businesses who remain committed to the Paris Agreement represents a bigger economy than any nation outside the U.S. and China,” said Bloomberg. “Together they are helping deliver on the promise of the agreement and ensuring the U.S. remains a global leader in the fight against climate change.” (Source: Press Release, America’s Pledge, 11/11/2017)

Climate Change in the American MindAnd finally, the latest survey from George Mason University’s Center for Climate Communication reveals that the number of Americans “very worried” about global warming has reached a record high since first measured in 2008. A majority of Americans (63%) say they are “very” or “somewhat” worried about the issue. Likewise, Americans increasingly view global warming as a threat. Since Spring 2015, more Americans think it will harm them personally, their own family, people in the U.S., people in developing countries, and future generations. You can read the full survey report here.

Note: Find out more about the NCA report and COP23 at the November 30 Webinar: The Fourth National Climate Assessment and Outcomes from the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn — COP 23. 1:15–2:45 pm EST. Register at securityandsustainabilityforum.org.


New Videos: You’ll Want to See These Microgrid Presentations

microgrids event oct 2017Resilient Virginia teamed with Leaders In Energy on October 19, 2017, to bring together an exceptional group of national and regional speakers on microgrids, with emphasis on this distributed energy technology as a means to significantly increase energy resiliency.

This evening event, attended by over 100 people, featured speakers from the US Department of Energy, the military, Edison Electric Institute, USGBC’s PEER certification program, and regional microgrid projects.

We are pleased to be able to share with readers the following video presentations in order of appearance:

National Perspective
John Caldwell, Director of Economics, Edison Electric Institute
J.E. Surash, P.E., Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Energy and Sustainability
Robert Hughes, Executive Director of the Office of Energy Assurance, U.S. Air Force
Dan Ton, Program Manager for Smart Grid R&D, U.S. Department of Energy

Regional Market Development
Michael Yambrach, Capital Projects Manager, Montgomery County
Bracken Hendricks, CEO and Founder, Urban Ingenuity, LLC
Brendan Owens, Chief of Engineering, PEER, U.S. Green Building Council

You can also read an in-depth review of the presentations provided by Leaders in Energy.

Above:Janine Finnell, Executive Director of Leaders in Energy, opens an event on microgrids opens an event on microgrids in this video from October 19, 2017. Other presentations from this event are available here.


Four Generations of Leaders in Clean Energy & Sustainable Solutions Awards and Holiday EventThe Urgency of Now: A Timely Event Honoring Cross-Generational Sustainability

Resilient Virginia is helping to promote a timely event — Leaders in Energy’s 4th Annual “Four Generations of Leaders in Clean Energy & Sustainable Solutions Awards and Holiday Event” on December 1, 2017, 6:00–9:00 pm. The event will recognize people across four generations who are raising awareness and developing clean energy and sustainable solutions, with a visible sense of urgency.

This year there will also be a Lifetime Achievement Award given to S. David Freeman, eco-pioneer and author. Freeman has provided progressive leadership to major public utilities coast to coast. Under President Jimmy Carter, he shaped an efficiency-based energy policy as head of the Tennessee Valley Authority. His most recent books include “All Electric America: A Climate Solution and the Hopeful Future.”


On November 28 you can be part of a national movement to celebrate giving to worthwhile causes.

Support our work to make your community more resilient!

Resiliency has many meanings:

  • being prepared for a storm that might damage your house,
  • bringing new businesses to your community,
  • making sure your family has access to healthy food,
  • preparing for flooding from hurricanes and high tides,
  • keeping the lights and heat on in your home or business,
  • having safe drinking water free from harmful substances,
  • protecting your trees and other natural resources,
  • buying fresh produce from local farmers,
  • supporting cleaner energy sources for your home and car.

Resilient Virginia  supports community resiliency by giving you the resources to move ahead with being more prepared for the future. Support our organization on #Giving Tuesday and help us continue to Inform, Educate, and Activate!


Thanks to Our 2017 Annual Sponsors


Platinum Sponsor

logo-marionenterprisesCommunity Leader Sponsor

logo-facility-engineering-assoc
Lifeboat Sponsors

logo_Dewberry_largeHazen and Sawyer
Village Sponsor

logo-leaders-in-energy


Resilience Events Calendar

Fall 2017 Event Highlights

Check our Resilient Events Calendar on a regular basis to find out what is happening in Virginia, around the nation, and virtually through webinars.


Membership — Always in Season!

Resilient Virginia is on a mission to

*Inform   *Educate   and   *Activate

Virginia communities to build resiliency in the face of challenges to community prosperity, national security, and changing climate.

You can help by:

Becoming a Member
Signing on as an Annual Sponsor

Do you shop online? Sign up for one or both of these online shopping sites that contribute to Resilient Virginia:

amazon-smile

goodshop

JOIN TODAY — IT’S OUR FUTURE!

Resilient Virginia News: October 2017

Resilient Virginia

What’s New

Improving Resiliency Through Microgrids and Storage SolutionsImproving Resiliency Through Microgrids and Storage Solutions: October 19, 5:30–6:30pm

Resilient Virginia is partnering again this October with Leaders in Energy to bring together an exceptional group of national and regional speakers on microgrids and storage solutions as a means to significantly increase energy resiliency. Especially in the wake of this year’s severe hurricanes, the utilization of microgrids plus battery storage is seen increasingly by public and private organizations as the wave of the future to help ensure energy reliability.

This event, which will take place at the Edison Electric Institute, will provide participants with the opportunity to meet leaders who are considering and implementing microgrid or battery storage in the Washington DC region. In addition, several speakers will provide a national perspective on the utility-microgrid interface and federal R&D programs.

Confirmed speakers for this event are:

Dr. John Caldwell, Director of Economics, Edison Electric Institute, who heads its Microgrid Task Force, will discuss the utility/microgrid interface. The EEI Microgrid Task Force was formed to support the industry’s advocacy effort for policies that support utility involvement in the construction, owning, and operating of microgrids.

Dan Ton, Program Manager, Smart Grid R&D, US Department of Energy, will present an overview of national research and development initiatives. The US DOE recently awarded $32 million in research funds for ”resilient distribution systems,” including $12 million for two microgrid projects.

Brendan Owens, Chief of Engineering, US Green Building Council, will highlight the Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal (PEER), the first certification system for sustainable power systems such as microgrids. PEER has been utilized locally to help assess feasibility of a microgrid expansion project at Gallaudet University.

Michael Yambrach, Capital Projects Manager, Montgomery County, will provide a regional example of innovation in the use of microgrids to increase resiliency in critical facilities, and in the development of “Microgrids as a Service,” which has established a structure for costs, construction, and management of systems to be carried out by the private partners.

Bracken Hendricks, CEO and Founder, Urban Ingenuity, leads the implementation of the company’s vision: to finance and develop advanced energy infrastructure projects that speed the clean energy future. UI served as the lead energy development partner in the design of a state-of-the-art district energy system and advanced microgrid at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Join businesses, university and government representatives to learn more about the potential for microgrid utilization in the DMV region. Register at lercpa.org/microgrids by October 12 for the early registration rate.


Virginia’s Clean Power PlanVirginia’s Clean Power Plan — Get Info at October Meetings

In the wake of just-announced steps by the federal government to repeal the Clean Power Plan, Virginia citizens have the opportunity to help ensure that the Virginia Clean Power Plan is successfully implemented. The Virginia League of Conservation Voters Education Fund and other environmental advocacy organizations are hosting a series of meeting during October that provide Virginia citizens the chance to learn more about this plan, how the new regulations will affect the state, and how citizens can help ensure that the program moves forward. Dates and locations — starting October 19 in Charlottesville are detailed in this flyer.

In May 2017, Governor McAuliffe issued Executive Directive 11 — also known as the Clean Energy Virginia initiative — which directed the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to draft proposed regulations to reduce carbon pollution from stationary sources. Governor McAuliffe’s goal is to work toward reducing carbon dioxide emissions from the Commonwealth’s power plants and to spur the development of new, clean energy jobs. By setting this limit, Governor McAuliffe made Virginia the first southern state to directly address climate change. Over the course of 2017, DEQ has been drafting the proposed regulations and will present them to the State Air Pollution Control Board for review and approval. This vote will happen in mid-November.

Join other community members during October to hear more about the Clean Energy Virginia Initiative, how mitigation of carbon emissions will assist in reducing the impacts from climate change, and how Virginians can continue to move forward in creating clean energy jobs.


GreenBuild 2017USGBC to Address Community Resiliency at GreenBuild 2017

Resilient Virginia is a partner this year with USGBC’s Communities & Affordable Homes Summit at Greenbuild 2017 on Tuesday, November 7 from 9:00 am–5:30 pm in Boston.

The Summit will focus on the development of vibrant, sustainable communities through the lenses of resilience, social equity, health, and economic opportunity. Join the U.S. Green Building Council community of sustainability leaders, environmental justice, and health advocates for information-sharing and problem-solving with the goal of expediting the economic, social, and ecological health and vitality of all communities. This event will focus on the convergence of community sustainability through the lens of:

  • Resilient and healthy community design, planning, and preparedness
  • Financing strategies that result in vibrant local economies
  • Affordable housing development
  • Community engagement and access to resources
  • Equitable development

This year, the Summit will be a call to action — and the participants will be part of creating that action plan for USGBC and its partners to advance equity in green building over the coming year. Two separate tracks will feature some of the leaders at the forefront of community development, environmental justice, and sustainability. The first track highlights successful case studies, discusses practical tools, and provides application techniques for success. The second track brings people and partners together to co-create an action plan to advance equity and sustainability in our buildings and communities. Multi-disciplinary leaders will facilitate small group dialogue, knowledge-sharing, and problem-solving with the singular goal of expediting the economic, social, and ecological health of underserved communities locally, regionally, and globally.

Now is the time for concerted, meaningful, and immediate action to advance a green social justice agenda. Join the dialogue and register today!


Resilient Virginia Conference 2017 Resources AvailableResilient Virginia Conference 2017 Resources Available

Resilient Virginia is pleased to report very positive feedback from our post-conference survey, with close to 90% of the respondents giving the 2017 Resilient Virginia Conference positive reviews. Conference attendees provided ideas for making this type of event even more worthwhile, which included more information on planning for resilience, technical solutions, and financing, and more time with exhibitors and for networking. For the next conference, a wide range of suggestions were provided, including: 1) hearing from the new governor on his resiliency and sustainability programs, 2) offering regional roundtables to spur state-wide resiliency initiatives, and 3) presentations on what role resiliency will have in recovery efforts from the severe hurricanes of 2017.

Resources that are now available to conference attendees and newsletter readers include:

Resilient Virginia would like to again thank Brian Moran, Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security; Virginia Department of Emergency Management; Dominion Energy; and all our additional sponsors who made the conference possible, as well as the Conference Planning Committee for their efforts in assembling world-class sessions and speakers.


Thanks to Our 2017 Annual Sponsors


Platinum Sponsor

logo-marionenterprisesCommunity Leader Sponsor

logo-facility-engineering-assoc
Lifeboat Sponsors

logo_Dewberry_largeHazen and Sawyer
Village Sponsor

logo-leaders-in-energy


Resilience Events Calendar

Fall 2017 Event Highlights

  • October 14: Virginia Solar Congress, Location: James Madison University
  • October 19: Improving Resilience through Microgrids and Battery Storage
  • October 24: Webinar: Climate Change, Education, and Democracy
  • October 27: Virginia Coastal Policy Center’s 5th Annual Conference: Defending Our Coasts

Check our Resilient Events Calendar on a regular basis to find out what is happening in Virginia, around the nation, and virtually through webinars.


Membership — Always in Season!

Resilient Virginia is on a mission to

*Inform   *Educate   and   *Activate

Virginia communities to build resiliency in the face of challenges to community prosperity, national security, and changing climate.

You can help by:

Becoming a Member
Signing on as an Annual Sponsor

Thank you to our recent new and renewing members!

Allen Asbury, Smyth County Public Schools
Daniel Bradway
Julie Shortridge, VA Tech
Kathryn Miller
Doug Hendren, MD
Avis Renshaw
James Keck, VCU

Do you shop online? Sign up for one or both of these online shopping sites that contribute to Resilient Virginia:

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goodshop


JOIN TODAY — IT’S OUR
FUTURE!

Resilient Virginia News: August 2017

Resilient Virginia

What’s New

Bring Your Family to the Free Richmond PrepareAthon! August 26, 11AM–4PM

PrepareAthon 2017Celebrate preparedness during the 2017 PrepareAthon, a free festival at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond, that teaches the community how to be more resilient when disaster strikes! Uncover life-saving information to protect your family during an emergency and learn more about resiliency. Discover the impacts of climate change on human health, the environment, and the Chesapeake Bay.

Resilient Virginia will participate with this program again this year, as well as other organizations working in resiliency and public safety areas. There will also be resiliency-themed climate change activities in the Museum, including NOAA Science on a Sphere® demonstrations and hands-on experiments in the Eco Lab.

Science Museum of VirginiaDisaster Preparedness Workshops will take place several times during the day, and participants will take home a free Preparedness Kit, valued at $45. The event also features a Rain Barrel Workshop where families can learn about water conservation and how stormwater impacts our waterways. Register for the workshops here.

You can also hear introductory remarks by Congressman A. Donald McEachin, VA-04, and Alicia Zatcoff, City of Richmond Sustainability Director; and presentations on “Human Health Impacts of Climate Change,” by Matthew Burke, M.D., Director of State Programs, Medical Society Consortium on Climate Change and Health, and “Summer in the City—Richmond’s Urban Heat Islands,” by Jeremy Hoffman, Ph.D., Climate and Earth Science Specialist, Science Museum of Virginia.

For the full program, visit the Science Museum of Virginia website.

The 2017 PrepareAthon is hosted by Science Museum of Virginia under award #NA15SEC0080009 from the Environmental Literacy Grant (ELG) program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce. Statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the Museum and do not necessarily reflect views of NOAA or U.S. Department of Commerce.


Governor McAuliffe’s Remarks at the 2017 Resilient Virginia Conference

We are pleased that Governor Terry McAuliffe provided introductory remarks at the August 1–2 Resilient Virginia Conference this year. You can view his videotaped statement here.

Led by Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran, our Day One Plenary Session speakers addressed resiliency perspectives from the national level as well as sharing lessons learned from Louisiana and Colorado, and the City of Richmond. The Lunch Plenary Panel provided insights into the economic value to both governments and corporations of adopting resiliency in policies and operations.

Day Two Plenary Session speakers provided highlights of the 100 Resilient Cities Planning Process and the NIST Community Resilience Planning Guide, and the final Lunchtime Plenary Panel included state elected officials who shared their thoughts on moving Virginia forward toward a comprehensive resiliency plan.

We will be sharing these thoughtful presentations, as well as Breakout Session content, with you on our website by early September.

Secretary Moran provided his own summary of why resiliency needs to be addressed in a collaborative fashion, in forums such as the Resilient Virginia Conference, when he observed that “Resilience ultimately is our ability to keep our fundamental resources — water, air, land, and critical infrastructure — safe and usable for our communities, for generations to come.”

We thank Secretary Brian Moran, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Dominion Energy, and all our Sponsors, Exhibitors, Partners, and Planning Committee Members for working to make the 2017 Resilient Virginia Conference a memorable event.


Thanks to Our 2017 Annual Sponsors


Platinum Sponsor

logo-marionenterprisesCommunity Leader Sponsor

logo-facility-engineering-assoc
Lifeboat Sponsors

logo_Dewberry_largeHazen and Sawyer
Village Sponsor

logo-leaders-in-energy


Resilience Events Calendar

Fall 2017 Event Highlights

  • September 21 Webinar: Making a Big Impact in Sustainability Science with Big Data
  • October 5: Virginia Urban Agriculture Conference
  • October 14: Virginia Solar Congress

Check our Resilient Events Calendar on a regular basis to find out what is happening in Virginia, around the nation, and virtually through webinars.


Membership Brings Extra Benefits This Summer!

Resilient Virginia is on a mission to

*Inform   *Educate   and   *Activate

Virginia communities to build resiliency in the face of challenges to community prosperity, national security, and changing climate.

You can help by:

Becoming a Member
Signing on as an Annual Sponsor

Resilient Virginia will help you deal with the summer heat by sharing a gift certificate from this Virginia business when you become a member through September 2017.

logo-moothru

Located in Remington, Virginia

Do you shop online? Sign up for one or both of these online shopping sites that contribute to Resilient Virginia:

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goodshop


JOIN TODAY — IT’S OUR
FUTURE!

Resilient Virginia News: May 2017

Resilient Virginia

What’s New

2017 Resilient Virginia ConferenceJoin Resiliency Innovators at the Resilient Virginia Conference, August 1–2, 2017

Registration is open for the 2017 Resilient Virginia Conference, taking place August 1–2 at the Richmond Convention Center. This year, Resilient Virginia is pleased that the Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security and Chief Resiliency Officer and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM), is taking a leading role in supporting the conference.

Our focus, Connecting Communities, Business, and Educators for Resiliency Solutions, will bring together participants from local and state governments, the business community, and representatives from higher education and community organizations to:

Connect with resiliency planning experts from Virginia and other states who are proactively addressing climate and national security risks in their regions;

Gain information on new products and technologies that target concerns about extreme weather events, energy security, and long-term adaptation to deal with sea level rise and flooding;

Learn about and take away tools that can be used for resiliency planning in their own communities

Our distinguished speakers at the August 1–2, 2017 Resilient Virginia Conference include:

State Resiliency Programs

The Honorable Brian Moran, Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, Commonwealth of Virginia

Emergency Management and Hazard Mitigation

Rob Mooney, Protective Security Advisor, Office of Infrastructure Protection, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Stacie Neal, Critical Infrastructure Program Manager, Office of the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security
Pete Owens, Protective Security Advisor, Office of Infrastructure Protection, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Ed Porner, Director, Recovery and Resilience Division, Virginia Department of Emergency Management
James Riddick, Director, Norfolk Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response

Business Resiliency

George B. Huff, Jr., CBCP, MBCI, Director of Consulting, The Continuity Project
Maureen Roskoski, LEED AP O+M, SFP, Corporate Sustainability Officer, Facility Engineering Associates, P.C.
Philip Schneider, AIA, Director, Multihazard Mitigation Council, National Institute of Building Sciences

Rural/Agricultural Challenges

Evan Fineman, Executive Director, Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission
Rebecca Joyce, Senior Planner, Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission
Julie Shortridge, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Outreach Specialist, Department of Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech
Andy Sorrell, AICP, Coordinator, Farmland Preservation, VDACS

Innovative Technologies and Solutions

Carol Considine, M.S., Engineering Technology, Old Dominion University
Christina Luman-Bailey, Vice Mayor, City of Hopewell and Chairperson, GoGreen Virginia
Greg Mella, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, SmithGroup, JJR
Aaron Sutch, Program Director, VA SUN
Matt Wade, Deputy Director, VA Clean Cities

Resiliency Planning

Stephen Cauffman, Lead, Disaster Resilience, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Nancy McNabb, AIA, The Continuity Project
Henry “Speaker” Pollard, Partner, Williams Mullen
David Savarese, Consultant, Jacobs
Sirirat Tavanapong, Director, Advance Planning Group, Jacobs

Visit the conference website for updates on the agenda topics and speakers.

Plan to participate by attending, sponsoring, or exhibiting at the conference. Join your colleagues in working toward a resilient future! Register today at our conference website.


Thanks to Our 2017 Resilient Virginia Conference Sponsors!

Virginia Department of Emergency Management

Dominion Energy

Facility Engineering Associates

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

And additional sponsors

For information on sponsorship opportunities for the 2017 Resilient Virginia Conference, contact Annette Osso, Managing Director, Resilient Virginia(osso@resilientvirginia.org).

Thanks to Our 2016 and 2017 Annual Sponsors


Platinum Sponsor

logo-marionenterprisesCommunity Leader Sponsor

logo-facility-engineering-assoc
Lifeboat Sponsors

logo_Dewberry_largeHazen and Sawyer
Village Sponsors

logo-get_ready

logo-leaders-in-energy


Resilience Events Calendar

Highlights for May 2017 and Beyond!!

Check our Resilient Events Calendar on a regular basis to find out what is happening in Virginia, around the nation, and virtually through webinars.

Membership Brings Extra Benefits This Summer!

Resilient Virginia is on a mission to

*Inform   *Educate   and   *Activate

Virginia communities to build resiliency in the face of challenges to community prosperity, national security, and changing climate.

You can help by:

Becoming a Member
Signing on as an Annual Sponsor

Since Summer is almost here, Resilient Virginia will send you a gift certificate from this Virginia business when you become a member.

logo-moothru

Located in Remington, Virginia

Thanks to our recent new and renewing members!

Kevin Chisholm
Katherine O’Neill, Roanoke College
Alyson Jordan Tomaszewski
Pamela Vosburgh
Karen Warren, Randolph College

Do you shop online? Sign up for one or both of these online shopping sites that contribute to Resilient Virginia:

amazon-smile

goodshop


JOIN TODAY — IT’S OUR
FUTURE!

Updates from Resilient Virginia: February 2017

Resilient Virginia

WHAT’S NEW

SAVE THE DATE: 2017 Resilient Virginia Conference

The Second Resilient Virginia Conference, being planned with the support of the Virginia Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security, will take place on August 1–2, 2017 in Richmond, Virginia. You can find information on Sponsor Opportunities here. Are you interested in participating in the Planning Committee to help develop topics and speakers? Let Annette Osso, Managing Director, Resilient Virginia, know by contacting her at osso@resilientvirginia.org.

Some Updates for Early 2017

World’s Temperature — Reports from NOAA and the United Kingdom national meteorological office show temperatures were record-breaking again in 2016, for the third year in a row. Factors influencing this years’ rise in temperature were the El Nino weather phenomenon and the unusual warmth in the Arctic, where sea-ice reached its second lowest level in September 2016. However, the reports attribute the majority of the warming to human emissions of carbon dioxide.

Global Temperatures

Source: BBC News, January 18, 2017. Link to the complete article here. Also see NOAA/NASA Annual Global Analysis here.

 

Extreme Weather Costs — Another NOAA report shows that 2016 had the second highest annual number of U.S. billion-dollar disasters, behind the 16 events that occurred in 2011. The report cites 2016 as an unusual year, since it included15 weather and climate events with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States. These events included drought, wildfire, four inland flood events, eight severe storm events, and a tropical cyclone event. Cumulatively, these 15 events led to 138 fatalities and caused $46.0 billion in total, direct costs. Read the full article here.

US Climate Disaster Map

 

U.S. solar jobs grew by 20 percent in 2016.Renewable Energy Sector Job Growth — A new report from The Solar Foundation shows that job growth in the solar industry reached 2% of the new job creations in the U.S. in 2016. According to the report, 1 in 50 new jobs were created in the areas of manufacture, sales, and installation of solar systems. This makes 2016 the fourth consecutive year that U.S. solar jobs grew by 20 percent or more, and the industry now employs more workers than the natural gas industry; more than double the number of workers in the coal industry; and in comparison to other energy sectors, employment in solar trails only the U.S. oil industry. Find additional information here.

 

George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication Support for Climate Action — George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication and the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication have issued their latest survey, which was conducted after the 2016 presidential election. The results show:

  • The proportion of Americans who think global warming is happening remained steady at 70% in 2016 — nearly matching the highest level measured since November 2008 (71%).
  • Americans are now also more certain it is happening — the proportion who are “extremely” or “very” sure global warming is happening (45%) is at its highest level since 2008.
  • The number of Americans who are “very worried” about global warming has reached a record high (19%) since the Cener’s surveys began in 2008.
  • Likewise, Americans increasingly view global warming as a threat that will bring harm to them, their families, the country, and globally.

You can read the complete survey results here.

 

New Resilient Virginia Supporter Highlighted

We are pleased to highlight our newest Community Leader Level Annual Sponsor, Facility Engineering Associates. In addition to becoming an annual supporter, FEA has also committed to support the 2017 Resilient Virginia Conference.

Walking The Talk: Business Resilience Planning at Facility Engineering Associates

by Maureen Roskoski, CFM, SFP, LEED AP O+M,
Senior Professional, Corporate Sustainability Officer
Facility Engineering Associates

Business Resilience is the ability to rapidly adapt and respond to business disruptions while maintaining continuous business operations. Business resilience planning provides guidance for ensuring the ability to respond, resume, and restore to a pre-determined level of operation following a disruption. At FEA, we help our clients strive for resilience through comprehensive planning that takes a holistic and long-term view of the threats and their individual enterprise in order to ensure that the business is prepared to avoid, mitigate, and recover from adverse events. But, what were we doing ourselves? Were we walking the talk?

The mission of FEA is to provide facility managers and owners with progressive and innovative solutions to engineering and facility lifecycle challenges. Thus, it is critical that FEA maintain a robust business resilience program to ensure the stability of operations and services for our partners, our community, and our clients around the world. To make sure that we had an effective program, we decided to pursue certification under the ISO 22301 Business Continuity Management Systems standard. Our journey started in 2015 with a commitment from the FEA Board of Directors to allocate time and resources to our ISO certification. Our certification planning process was comprised of the five steps shown in Figure 1.

FEA ISO Certification Steps

Figure 1: FEA ISO Certification Steps

Like many organizations, FEA had some documentation related to what to do in the event of an emergency. We had evacuation procedures and were confident we could get everyone out of the building if needed. But what happens as everyone is standing in the parking lot and we are told we can’t get back in to the building for a significant period of time? We needed a plan. We used the ISO standard to build it. It provides a good framework for developing not only a business continuity plan, but a full management system, framed around the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle (See Figure 2).

ISO 22301 Business Continuity Management Framework

Figure 2: ISO 22301 Business Continuity Management Framework

Read the entire article at resilientvirginia.org.

To learn more about FEA and Business Resilience, click here.

 

Energy Security and Microgrids

Due to the increased risks of disruption to our energy supply from terrorist attacks, mechanical failure, and extreme weather events, microgrid installations are gaining increased utilization as businesses and communities seek energy reliability strategies. As defined by the Department of Energy (DOE), a microgrid is a localized grouping of electricity sources and loads that normally operate connected to and synchronous with the traditional centralized grid (macrogrid), but can disconnect and function autonomously as physical and/or economic conditions dictate. Microgrids offer energy surety for critical loads, reduced vulnerability against cyber and physical threats, and greater resiliency, since businesses and critical services can rebound more swiftly after energy disruption.

The U.S. DOE, along with several states and the private sector, are working to develop and implement microgrid strategies. For example, New York has established the NY PRIZE Program, a first-in-the-nation competition to help communities create microgrids — stand-alone energy systems that can operate independently in the event of a power outage.

Community Microgrid System

Source: Microgrid Institute

 

Jim Pieribon, Southeast Energy News, set out to determine if any of these systems have been introduced in Virginia. He found that several organizations have already seen the security and economic benefits of installing microgrids, despite some difficulty in negotiating their interconnection with the existing grid.

The first system in Virginia was up and running in 2015 and is located at the HP Hood dairy plant, one of the largest dairy operations in the country. They see the 15 megawatt natural gas-fired system as their assurance that the dairy operations will continue reliably and prevent costly downtime in spite of possible malfunctions in the conventional system due to weather or mechanical failure.

Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg and the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency at the Fort Belvoir Army base in Northern Virginia are the next two facilities working on plans for microgrid systems. Concerns for cybersecurity and the need for resiliency planning are driving the Ft. Belvoir installation, which will total 4 megawatts of power generation and will incorporate energy storage. The Eastern Mennonite University system will consist of three 500-kilowatt natural-gas fired generators. The campus will be able to operate independent of the local grid, since it also has an existing 104-kW solar system. Motivators for this endeavor include the college’s core values that include “care for creation” and the prospect of a lower monthly demand charge rate from the utility company.

You can read the entire Southeast Energy News article here. Subscribe to Southeast Energy News to receive daily updates on energy sector policy and projects in Virginia and our neighbor states.

Find out more about microgrids at:

https://www.energy.gov/articles/how-microgrids-work

https://www.nyserda.ny.gov/All-Programs/Programs/NY-Prize

http://www.microgridinstitute.org/

 

Thanks to Our 2016 and 2017 Annual Sponsors

 

Platinum Sponsor
Marion Construction

Community Leader Sponsor
Facility Engineering Associates

Lifeboat Sponsors
Dewberry
Hazen and Sawyer

Villager Sponsors
Get Ready!
Leaders in Energy

RESILIENT VIRGINIA CALENDAR

Highlights for February 2017 and Beyond!

 

Coming up this month

  • Antioch University Webinar on “Incorporating Climate Solutions into Municipal Planning”
  • GreenBiz 17 — Live streaming opportunities!
  • Climate Disclosure Project’s Webinars on its reporting platform for cities
  • Bio-nutrient Food Production Workshop in Richmond
  • Energy and Sustainability Extravaganza at George Washington University

Coming up soon

  • March Climate Connections Speaker Series at the Science Museum of Virginia
  • April 22nd — Arlington County Home Show featuring resiliency vendors and events.

In addition to these events, check our Resilient Events Calendar on a regular basis to find out what is happening in Virginia, around the nation, and virtually through webinars.

We Love your Support!

Let us count the ways your support helps Resilient Virginia carry out its mission to
Inform  ♥  Educate  ♥  Activate
Virginia communities to build resiliency for changing times.

JOIN TODAY—IT’S OUR FUTURE!

Updates from Resilient Virginia: December 2016

Resilient Virginia

WHAT’S NEW

Holiday Giving and Resilient Virginia

Help Us Help Communities Plan a Resilient Future!

Support RVa Through Amazon Smile!This is your last chance this year to shop for the holidays and support Resilient Virginia. Leave your car at home and do your holiday shopping online while supporting the organization working to make communities more resilient around the Commonwealth. Just go to Smile.Amazon.com to get started. Thanks!

Perspectives as 2016 Draws to a Close

Note from Annette Osso, Managing Director, Resilient Virginia

I recently had the opportunity to hear a presentation by Amoy Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute founder and chief scientist, as well as a webinar that recapped the extensive work our federal government has carried out to develop programs supporting climate change resiliency. In this issue of Updates, I provide summaries of these events and links to more information. As citizens of Virginia and the U.S.A., we need to stay informed about the risks we face because of the changing climate and related economic and social stresses. Conversely, we should educate ourselves about the competitive advantages of developing business solutions to energy, environmental, and security challenges.

Amory Lovins and the “Soft Energy Path” 40 Years Later

Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute founder and chief scientist, provided his observations on what he got right in his seminal 1976 Foreign Affairs article on the “soft energy path” at a November 2 event at The Brookings Institution. He was joined in a panel discussion by several Brookings Institution colleagues, and other esteemed representatives of the energy and academic world.

At the time the article was written, U.S. security and energy independence were threatened by oil market instability. Lovins recommended that the country move away from fossil fuels and nuclear power and move toward energy efficiency and renewable energy. This path would offer myriad benefits, including environmental protection, lower costs, and great consumer choice. Lovins observed that market forces are moving economies around the world toward renewables and efficiency at an accelerated pace today. This movement is particularly important in view of the climate change challenges we face due to continued emissions of greenhouse gases, the majority of which are from fossil fuels.

You can view the entire presentation here and find out more about the initiatives of Rocky Mountain Institute, which is working on transformative energy solutions for China and many other countries, the U.S. military, and corporations, at www.rmi.org/.

Resilience Opportunities Report Summarizes Gains

The White House Council on Environmental Quality sponsored a November webinar that reviewed the Resilience Opportunities Report. This report discusses the steps that the Obama administration has taken to address resiliency building initiatives and outlines key opportunities for advancing climate resilience moving forward.

From the Report:

Climate change affects every community and economic sector in the United States. Increasing temperatures, rising sea levels, increases in the intensity and frequency of certain extreme weather events, changing precipitation patterns, and other impacts are affecting people throughout the Nation. Higher temperatures and more frequent and intense heat waves drive up energy costs; raise the risk of heat-related illness; and threaten crops, fisheries, recreation, and the reliability of water and food supplies. Sea level rise threatens coastlines and ports and can fuel higher storm surge.

The interagency Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience (Resilience Council) was formed to coordinate work on programs across Federal agencies. The Resilience Council has worked with state, local, and tribal leaders, community organizations, academic institutions, philanthropic organizations, and the private sector to advance climate science and support on-the-ground decisions. To build upon and sustain this work, the Resilience Council identified a set of key opportunities using the expertise and experience within Federal agencies and the perspectives of numerous stakeholders. These opportunities will guide sustained and coordinated action among Federal agencies and empower stakeholders to work with them on a shared resilience agenda.

The Resilience Council developed these opportunities using the following principles, which should continue to guide actions for climate resilience:

  • Climate resilience should incorporate meaningful community engagement, fair and equitable outcomes, and targeted investments for communities that are often overlooked;
  • Climate resilience should be coordinated among multiple stakeholders—including all levels of government, academic institutions, companies, and nonprofits—through partnerships, shared knowledge and resources, and coordinated strategies;
  • Climate resilience should be mainstreamed into everyday decision making; and
  • Climate resilience should be a factor in fiscally responsible investments.

The United States has come a long way in understanding the effects of climate change, organizing communities, strengthening infrastructure, protecting natural and cultural resources, developing technology, and planning for the future. Federal leadership remains important to understand climate change; improve the resilience of Federal Government missions, operations, and programs that serve communities; and support community efforts to enhance resilience.

The Nation’s resilience depends upon many decisions and actions that strengthen the ability to respond and adapt to the changing climate. Fortifying homes and buildings against storms and flooding, conserving and restoring vulnerable ecosystems, and helping communities plan for weather-related hazards are just a few ways in which Americans are already working to build climate resilience. Though many of these efforts are underway, more work remains to build climate resilience throughout the Nation.

Many resources and programs are mentioned in the Report. Of particular note:

  • The Third National Climate Assessment Report. The National Climate Assessment summarizes the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future. A team of more than 300 experts guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee produced the report, which was extensively reviewed by the public and experts, including federal agencies and a panel of the National Academy of Sciences.
  • U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit (CRT). The CRT is an online resource designed to help people find and use information, tools, and subject matter expertise to build climate resilience. It includes a step-by-step guide for issues to consider in resilience planning, case studies, science-based tools, topical narratives, authoritative reports, regional experts, and training courses. It also includes the recently updated Climate Explorer, a visualization tool that provides county-level climate projections, enabling users to see how climate change will affect their own backyards.
  • Examples of community efforts in the Report include the Hampton Roads Intergovernmental Pilot Program. You can view their final Phase 2 Report here and find out more about their continuing activities at www.centerforsealevelrise.org.

Thanks to Our 2016 and 2017 Annual Sponsors

Platinum Sponsor
Marion Construction

Community Leader Sponsor
Dewberry

Lifeboat Sponsors
Dewberry
Hazen and Sawyer

Villager Sponsor
Get Ready!
Leaders in Energy

RESILIENT VIRGINIA CALENDAR

Highlights for January 2017

In addition to these events, check our Resilient Events Calendar on a regular basis to find out what is happening in Virginia and virtually through webinars.

YOUR MEMBERSHIP COUNTS!

YOUR END OF YEAR CONTRIBUTION IS TAX DEDUCTIBLE!

Take one of the following actions today:

Thanks to our recent new members and supporters!

Maureen Roskoski, SFP, LEED AP O+M
Facility Engineering Associates, P.C.

JOIN TODAY—IT’S OUR FUTURE!

Updates from Resilient Virginia: November 2016

Resilient Virginia


WHAT’S NEW

Resilient Virginia Partners and Members Highlighted

This issue of our newsletter features some of our partners, members, and supporters.

  • Jim Redick, Director of Emergency Preparedness and Response for the City of NorfolkWe are pleased to report that a Resilient Virginia Board of Directors Member, Jim Redick, Director of Emergency Preparedness and Response for the City of Norfolk, received the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Clayton R. Christopher Memorial Award on October 18, 2016 at the 64th Annual IAEM Conference in Savannah, Georgia. The award is presented in recognition of unselfish devotion and outstanding contributions to the overall emergency management program. Jim has worked in several emergency management positions in the Hampton Roads area, and has served for five years as the Norfolk Emergency Preparedness Director. He recognizes the importance of creating partnerships and building relationships in the field. For example, he created “Operation Brother’s Keeper,” which works with faith-based organizations to aggregate local, state, and federal resources and manpower. At the state level, he was appointed to a second term on the Virginia Governor’s Secure Commonwealth Panel and co-chaired a sub-panel focused on the high probability/high impact threat of recurrent flooding and sea level rise. You can read the City of Norfolk press release about this award here.
     
  • Resiliency, Sustainability, and Economic Opportunity eventWe are pleased to announce that Leaders in Energy is a new Villager Level Sponsor and a partner in Northern Virginia resiliency workshops. Resilient Virginia’s Managing Director, Annette Osso, and Leaders in Energy, led by founder Janine Finnell, carried out a well-attended and dynamic workshop and networking event on October 20, 2016, hosted by Steve Walz at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. Our event, “Resiliency, Sustainability, and Economic Opportunity,” featured author and revitalization consultant Storm Cunningham and Harrison Newton, the Washington, DC point person for their new Rockefeller Foundation-funded resiliency program. Also featured was Dr. Dwane Jones, who heads the creative, hands-on Sustainable Urban Agriculture Program at the University of District of Columbia. One take-away from the event: the city is working to deal with equity issues and healthy food access, as well as threats such as extreme weather, heat waves, and terrorism. Read the Leaders in Energy article about the event here.
          Find out about the next Leaders in Energy event here.

News Flash! Are you a community organization or local government that would like to co-host a resiliency workshop with us that is tailored to your region? Contact Annette Osso, (osso@resilientvirginia.org), Managing Director, Resilient Virginia to start making plans.

  • Jerry Walker and Carrie Webster at the 2016 Henrico Energy Fair.Henrico County, a Resilient Virginia founding member and supporter, continues its outstanding efforts in energy management with a new hire. Carrie Webster, LEED AP BD+C, took the reins as the Henrico Energy Manager in September 2016. She follows Jerry Walker, CEM, LEED AP, who started the program with the County in 2003 and retired earlier this year. Carrie was previously a Senior Sustainability Coordinator with Moseley Architects, working on green building, energy, and sustainability for the past eight years. At Moseley Architects she worked on several Henrico County new construction projects that earned LEED certification, and participated as a vendor in Henrico’s Annual Energy Fair.

          As the Energy Manager, Carrie will work to carry out the mission of this department by identifying and implementing energy efficiency and green building projects in government buildings, schools, and public utility operations, and through outreach efforts will continue to foster a culture of conservation and sustainability. Carrie stated, “In my first month here, I have already been very impressed with the commitment and pride that Henrico County employees at all levels have toward the energy program and all of the county’s impressive environmental efforts. I’m very excited to be the one to carry on and build upon all the great work that has been done here over the past 13 years.” Carrie has already organized and held the 2016 Henrico Energy Fair.

          Carrie will be representing Henrico County in several energy-related professional organizations such as USGBC Greater Virginia, VEPGA, VAEEC, and of course, Resilient Virginia.

          You can review of Henrico’s past accomplishments from Jerry Walker’s Resilient Virginia Conference presentation here.

  • VaTech-ESMSHarry Gregori, a Resilient Virginia founding member, wears multiple career hats. As a Faculty Fellow at Virginia Tech, he co-leads the ISO 14001:2015 Institute. This is part of the VA Tech Environmental Sustainability and Management System Institute. The in-depth, one-year course is set up for any organization — government, business or industry or NGO — that desires to improve environmental operations by reducing compliance risk, saving money, and improving employee performance. Certificates earned through this program can help governments work toward the VML/VACO’s Go Green Challenge as well as other certifications.

          You can enroll in the next course, which begins in January 2017, through the end of November. Register by the November 30 deadline at cota.vt.edu/EMS.

News from Resilient Virginia

Support RVa Through Amazon Smile!Shop Online and Support Resilient Virginia

You can now support us through Smile.Amazon.com. You shop and Amazon provides a contribution. Click here to start supporting us today: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/54-1757778

Visit the RVa YouTube Channel!Visit Resilient Virginia’s New YouTube Resiliency Playlists
Visit our new YouTube Playlists for a look at our expanding set of resiliency-related videos. Send links that will help grow this video library to videos@resilientvirginia.org.

Next Resilient Virginia Conference Planning Underway
Are you ready to help with the 2017 Resilient Virginia Conference planning? Let us know your ideas for speakers, sessions, and exhibitors by joining us at the next Planning Committee Meeting on December 1. Contact Annette Osso (osso@resilientvirginia.org) to sign up for the Planning Committee.

Thanks to Our 2016 Annual Sponsors

Platinum Sponsor
Marion Construction

Lifeboat Sponsors
Dewberry
Hazen and Sawyer

Villager Sponsor
Get Ready!
Leaders in Energy

RESILIENT VIRGINIA CALENDAR

Highlights for November and December, 2016

In addition to these events, check our Resilient Events Calendar on a regular basis to find out what is happening in Virginia and virtually through webinars.

amazon-smile-resvaHelp Us Help Communities Plan a Resilient Future!

NEW! You can shop for the holidays, leave your car at home, and support the organization working to make communities more resilient around the Commonwealth. Just go to Smile.Amazon.com and designate Resilient Virginia to receive a donation from Amazon every time you make a purchase.

YOUR MEMBERSHIP COUNTS!

Support Resilient Virginia’s goals to:

  • INFORM diverse leaders from government, business, and the community about natural, climate-related and man-made risks and vulnerabilities;
  • EDUCATE key groups about the models for community resiliency planning;
  • ACTIVATE Virginia communities by providing tools to engage in resiliency planning.

Take one of the following actions today:

Thanks to our recent new members and supporters!

Association of Energy Conservation Professionals — Thanks for renewing!
Hazen and Sawyer
Leaders in Energy

JOIN TODAY—IT’S OUR FUTURE!

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