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Resilient Virginia News: December 2018

What’s New

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Thank You 2018 Members and Annual Sponsors!

 

Platinum Sponsor
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Lifeboat Sponsors

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Village Sponsor
2RW Energy By Design

 

Corporate Member — 2018
logo_Dewberry_largeIndividual Members — View our Individual members here.

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LEED Benefits for Resilient CommunitiesUSGBC Virginia and Resilient Virginia Host 4th Presentation

LEED Benefits for Resilient Communities

Thursday, December 13, 12:00–1:00pm
Location: NOVA Community College, Alexandria Campus, Room TBD, 5000 Dawes Ave, Alexandria VA 22311

Register today to reserve your seat.

Join USGBC Virginia and Resilient Virginia for our 4th jointly hosted Connect & Learn exploring LEED’s connection to resiliency strategies using examples of LEED buildings in Arlington County. This event is part of a Virginia resiliency education series looking at how buildings and communities support statewide resiliency goals.

Green buildings are driving resilience-enhancing designs, technologies, materials, and methods. by including practices such as the use of durable materials, thoughtful site selection, rainwater collection, demand response, grid islanding, maximal energy efficiency, on-site renewable energy generation and more.

Attend this Connect & Learn to explore LEED’s connection to resiliency strategies using examples of LEED buildings in Arlington County. Speakers include Alysson Blackwelder, Advocacy and Policy Manager, USGBC, and Joan Kelsch, Green Buildings Manager, Arlington County. Lunch is provided for registered attendees. The presentation will run from 12:00–1:00 pm. Continuing Education: 1 GBCI CE pending.

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US National Climate Assessment and IPCC Reports Point to Critical Need for Increased Mitigation and Resiliency Actions

US National Climate Assessment and IPCC Reports

US National Climate Assessment Report

Published November 23rd, the National Climate Assessment Report concludes that human-caused climate change is already causing irreparable harm to communities across the United States and that the disastrous impacts will increase and cost the country billions of dollars. This report, the Fourth National Climate Assessment Volume II, mandated by law to be issued every four years, was prepared by 300 authors at 13 federal agencies.

Among the report’s findings: climate impacts could slash 10 percent of the US GDP, the Midwest is projected to see an additional 2,000 heat deaths per year, average acreage burned by wildfires could increase as much as six times, all by the end of the century.

For the Southeast United States, urban infrastructure distress and health risks will increase due to flooding, increased heat and vector-borne disease, with coastal and low-lying interior areas being particularly susceptible for flood risk. Natural ecosystems will be transformed by changing winter temperature extremes, wildfires, drought, warming ocean temperatures, and floods. In rural areas, agricultural, forest, and manufacturing businesses will be impacted by frequent extreme heat episodes and changing seasonal climate. “By the end of the century, over one-half billion labor hours could be lost due to extreme-heat related impacts.”

The report further states that “While Americans are responding in ways that can bolster resilience and improve livelihoods, neither global efforts to mitigate the causes of climate change nor regional efforts to adapt to the impacts currently approach the scales needed to avoid substantial damages to the US economy, environment, and human health and well-being over the coming decades.”

The report emphasizes mitigation and adaptation in key areas, such as:

Energy — The report states that internationally and in the U.S., it is critical to escalate the pace, scale and scope of both hardening energy production systems to withstand extreme weather events and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Urban design and infrastructure — Cities are in the forefront of reducing greenhouse gases in the U.S. and have begun adaptation work as infrastructure, buildings, and commerce are being increasingly affected by extreme weather events, including storms, flooding and heat waves.

Agriculture and land use — Numerous adaptation strategies are available to cope with adverse impacts of climate variability and change on agricultural production. These include altering what is produced, modifying the inputs used for production, adopting new technologies, and adjusting management strategies. However, these strategies have limits under severe climate change impacts and would require sufficient long- and short-term investment in changing practices.

Read the Report summary, chapters on issues, and mitigation/adaptation strategies here.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report

On an international level, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report, released in October, 2018, strongly supports an all-out effort to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels, instead of the 2 degree C limit originally considered as part of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Some information to consider:

  • Human activities are estimated to have already caused approximately 1.0 degree C of global warming above pre-industrial levels
  • China (at 26.6%) and the U.S. (at 13.1%) are the top two greenhouse gas emitters, with India and Russia following. The top 10 emitters account for 60% of the worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. (Source: European Commission’s Joint Research Centre and PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency.)
  • The commitments from the Paris Agreement, if enacted, will still allow the warming trend to reach 3.5 degrees C by the end of the century.

The report finds that limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require “rapid and far-reaching” transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities. Global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) would need to fall by about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching ‘net zero’ around 2050. This means that any remaining emissions would need to be balanced by removing CO2 from the air.

Read the IPCC Press Release here. The Summary for Policymakers of the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC (SR15) is available at https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/.

Climate impacts increase in severity with rising temperatures.

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Governor Northam Ramps Up State Resiliency Initiatives

by Tracy Garland, Resilient Virginia

Acknowledging the burgeoning resiliency challenges facing the Commonwealth, Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam recently issued Executive Order 24 (2018) “Increasing Virginia’s Resilience to Sea Level Rise and Natural Hazards.” It outlines actions that the Commonwealth of Virginia will take to limit the impacts of flooding, extreme weather events, and wildfires as well as goals to improve resiliency in the future.

“As extreme weather events become more frequent and more intense, the safety and economic well-being of every Virginian is put at greater risk,” said Governor Northam. “The actions the Commonwealth will undertake as a result of this Executive Order will ensure we address this growing challenge head on, setting Virginia on a path towards resilience to near and long-term natural catastrophes and enhancing our public health and economic vitality with a whole of government approach.”

The order specifies that Virginia’s government will lead by example by:

  • ensuring its facilities are resilient;
  • developing a series of reviews and planning efforts to benefit the public and private sectors;
  • creating a “Coastal Resilience Master Plan;”
  • reviewing state compliance with dam and floodplain laws;
  • reviewing state hazard mitigation programs with the goal of increasing their scale and scope; and
  • providing guidance to local governments.

The Executive Order also outlines further resiliency improvement goals that include using nature-based infrastructure, ensuring better communication, engaging the military, empowering communities and individuals to reduce their risk, and more. Read the entire Executive Order here.

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Rural Resiliency Forum

Rural Resiliency — First Steps Taken at Resiliency Forum

by Sean Tubbs, Guest Contributor (Excerpt from article posted in Resilient Virginia News)

To convene a conversation about rural resiliency concerns, Resilient Virginia held the Rural Resiliency Forum on October 23 at the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton that covered how the fields of agriculture and emergency management are responding to climate threats, as well as how efforts are being made to build robust “green infrastructure” to help address both water quality and stormwater management. The objective was to explore the co-benefits of using natural systems and sustainable agriculture practices to assist with mitigating effects from severe storms, flooding, and other climate-related risks.

The goal was to improve collaboration among state and local governments, as well as rural businesses and communities, to improve the “storm readiness” of farms, forests, and natural resource areas, and to increase the resiliency and prosperity of rural areas of the Commonwealth. In addition, the Forum looked to provide access to existing resources, state and federal programs and funding, as well as start a conversation about potential policy recommendations.

“Our mission at Resilient Virginia is to accelerate resiliency planning throughout Virginia,” said Andrew Sorrell, Deputy Director of the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission and Chairman of the Resilient Virginia Board of Directors. Resiliency is defined as “the ability to mitigate risk, while building the capacity to regain functionality and vitality in the face of chronic stressors or severe disturbances.” That definition covers a lot of subject areas, but the October Forum focused on resilient agriculture and forestry, blue and green infrastructure, and hazard mitigation and emergency preparedness.

Speakers presented on related state and federal programs, as well as on current resiliency projects and activities happening throughout the Commonwealth. During lunch, university representatives provided information on how university programs can help with community resiliency needs. In the afternoon, interactive breakout sessions encouraged audience, speakers, and Resilient Virginia staff to delve further into particular issues and challenges around rural resiliency and how farms and natural resource areas can help with hazard mitigation and disaster preparedness.

Read the complete article that recaps the speakers’ information and directs you to additional resources here. You can also review the presenters’ PowerPoint presentations here.

rural-resiliency-forum-2018

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Utilities of the Future — Expert Speakers’ Presentations Now Live!

Utilities of the Future      Utilities of the Future

(excerpted from article by MIRIAM ACZEL, www.leadersinenergy.org)

On October 4th, 2018, Leaders in Energy (LE), in partnership with Resilient Virginia, held its “Utilities of the Future Forum” at the US Navy Memorial in Washington DC. The event had over 80 attendees and was an exciting opportunity to look at recent developments in the role of utilities and future of energy provision and new changes.

Leaders in Energy, Founder and Executive Director and session co-moderator, Janine Finnell, kicked off the event, introducing the three panelists: John Caldwell, Ph.D., Director of Economics, Edison Electric Institute (EEI); Cyril Draffin, Project Advisor to Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Energy Initiative (MITEI); and Elizabeth Brooke Stein, Attorney, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)’s Clean Energy Program. Annette Osso, Managing Director, Resilient Virginia, provided comments on the need for secure energy resource development as part of community resiliency planning.

The expert presenters provided thought-provoking information, respectively, on such topics as:

  • the “total electric utility evolution” towards an interactive, transactive grid;
  • locational energy pricing, renewables (centralized and distributed) for decarbonization, and resiliency considerations;
  • New York’s efforts to reform the state’s utility regulations (Reforming the Energy Vision, or REV), and the various technological enhancements that make this renewable transition possible.

You can view the entire article here and view the video presentations here.

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2018–2019 Board of Directors

Officers

Chairperson
Andrew V. “Andy” Sorrell

Deputy Director, Virginia Tobacco Commission

Vice Chair
Ellen Graap Loth

Principal, Cardno, Inc.

Secretary
Jane Frantz, AICP, PMP, CFM

Associate Vice President, Dewberry

Treasurer
Vestal Tutterow, PE, CEM

Program Manager, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Directors

Jerry Eastridge, LLA, BPI
Principal, GSPH LLC

Rebecca Joyce
Community Program Manager, Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission

Steve Sunderman, RA, LEED AP BD+C, BPI
President, Terrazia PC

Erin Sutton, MS, CEM, PMP
Director, Office of Emergency Management, City of Virginia Beach

Past Chair

Nell Boyle, LEED AP
Sustainability Coordinator, City of Roanoke

Managing Director

Annette Osso, LEED AP
osso@resilientvirginia.org

happy holidays

Resilience Events Calendar

Early Winter, 2018 Event Highlights

December 13, 2018: LEED Benefits for Resilient Communities, Noon–1:00 pm, NOVA Community College, Alexandria Campus, Room TBD, 5000 Dawes Ave, Alexandria VA 22311. Register today to reserve your seat.

January 7–10, 2019: National Council for Science and the Environment Annual Conference: Sustainable Infrastructure and Resilience, Washington, DC. For more information and to register: https://ncseconference.org.

January 28–31, 2019: Northeast Organic Farming Association. Four-day organic land care certification course, Washington, DC. For more information, contact Joan Clement, CHEARS volunteer, joan@chears.org, 301-775-5368

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 — ‘Tis the (Giving) Season!

Join (Or Renew) Today — It’s Our Future!

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

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Resilient Virginia on Facebook

Today we will be joined by Caetano de Campos Lopes from The Community Climate Collaborative at the final session of our Spring Resiliency Academy. Caetano will provide information about the C3 Virginia Transit Tool, that supports community-led initiatives to advocate for better transit planning and will illustrate this approach as it is being carried out in the Charlottesville, Va area. Learn more and register: https://resilientvirginia.org/resources/events/resiliency-academy
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Angela Conroy from Virginia Department of Environmental Quality will be joining us tomorrow (June 9th) at the 4th (and final!) session of our Spring Resiliency Academy. Angela will update the audience on how the $93 million in funds from the Volkswagen Settlement Agreement has been allocated through the Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund for EV charging network projects, electric buses for schools, the port electrification project, and the Clean Air Communities Program, and what funding is still available for grants to localities. Learn more and register at https://resilientvirginia.org/resources/events/resiliency-academy.
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Join us June 9th for our final Spring Resiliency Academy. This Thursday, Susan Howard from American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) will discuss transportation programs and funding created through this Federal legislation. Learn more and register at https://resilientvirginia.org/resources/events/resiliency-academy.
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Calendar

Due to COVID-19, please check listings for cancellations.
  • A Framework for Evaluating GHG Emissions Information for Decision Making
    Date: June 28, 2022
    Location:

    This interactive workshop will include discussions about needs, challenges, and opportunities related to meeting the needs of stakeholders; developing independent, transparent, and comparable greenhouse gas information; understanding and addressing biases in data, models, and…

  • Southeast Climate Monthly Webinar
    Date: June 28, 2022
    Location:

    2022 Hurricane Outlook, Matthew Rosencrans, NOAA Climate Prediction Center

    Register here.

  • Federal Energy Funding 101
    Date: June 28, 2022
    Location:

    Join Clean Energy Business Network on an interactive virtual platform to learn about federal programs to support energy entrepreneurs and communities.

    Learn more and register More details...

  • RNPN Ideation Hour: Extreme Heat Resilience
    Date: June 29, 2022
    Location:

    Join The Resilient Nation Partnership Network (RNPN), the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, and the City of Phoenix for a discussion about the impacts of extreme heat across the country. We encourage you…

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Resilient Virginia News – April 2022: Partnering with Universities for Greater Resilience; Curtis Brown Joins Resilient Virginia’s Board of Directors; Charlottesville’s Climate Action Plan; Richmond’s Climate Equity Plan; UVA ERI Climate Restoration Initiative; Solar Fund for Appalachia Awards First Grant; Global Assessment Risk on Disaster Risk Reduction; IPCC Finalizes Third Part of the Sixth Assessment Report; TetraTech Wins Six Climate Change and Environmental Industry Awards; Environmental Racism: A Tool for Exploring the Enduring Legacy of Redlining on Urban Environments; Virginia Coastal Resilience Web Explorer; Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Funding in Virginia 2022; more.

Read More »