California releases extreme heat action plan to protect communities from rising temperatures

The plan outlines a whole-of-government strategic approach to building resilience to extreme heat and mitigating its health, economic, ecological and social impacts

Governor Newsom and the Legislature have advanced an $800 million package to protect California’s communities, economy and natural systems from extreme heat

SACRAMENTO – Amid intensifying climate impacts, Governor Gavin Newsom today announced that the state released an Extreme Heat Action Plan outlining a strategic and comprehensive set of state actions to adapt and build resilience to extreme heat. The announcement follows a heatwave earlier this month in Long Beach that peaked at 101°F, nine degrees hotter than the April 2014 record.

“Extreme heat caused by climate change is endangering the lives and livelihoods of Californians in every corner of our state and threatening our vital natural systems,” Governor Newsom said. “The Extreme Heat Action Plan is a critical part of California’s commitment to building community resilience and will guide partnerships and investments in equitable solutions to protect all Californians.”

Projections from the best climate science in the state predict that all of California will be impacted in the years and decades to come by higher average temperatures and more frequent and life-threatening heat waves, affecting public health and safety. , economic prosperity, communities and natural systems – with profoundly disproportionate consequences for the most vulnerable Californians. Extreme heat ranks among the deadliest risks of climate change, with structural inequalities playing a significant role in the ability of individuals, workers and communities to protect themselves and adapt to its effects.

In partnership with the Legislature, Governor Newsom advanced an $800 million package in last year’s budget to protect California communities from the heat. The package includes $300 million to support the implementation of the Extreme Heat Action Plan and many other investments that protect communities, the economy and natural systems from extreme heat. The Governor proposes to allocate this additional funding in the 2022-23 Budget to support the implementation of the Extreme Heat Action Plan.

Governor Newsom has proposed a landmark $37.6 billion climate package — more than most other countries are spending — to protect all Californians from the costs and impacts of climate change, while accelerating efforts to reduce reliance on heavy polluters and fossil fuels.

With the launch of the Extreme Heat Action Plan, the Newsom administration is announcing a whole-of-government approach to addressing extreme heat in four action areas:

  • Public awareness and notification: The administration will prioritize the needs of high-risk California communities most affected by extreme heat by increasing access to timely and appropriate information and resources that can help them stay safe. The most affected groups include those experiencing housing insecurity, outdoor workers, the elderly, young children, and people with existing health conditions. Additionally, the public awareness effort includes actions to equip communities, governments and tribes with easily accessible data.
  • Strengthening community services and response: The burden of extreme heat falls disproportionately on rural and disadvantaged communities and Native American tribes in California. The community services and response effort includes a series of actions that reduce heat exposure, build the capacity of communities to respond to heat events, support climate adaptation planning and implementation community and advance heat illness prevention standards for indoor and outdoor workers.
  • Increase the resilience of the built environment: As temperatures rise and heat waves become more frequent and severe, the cascading effects of oppressive heat on infrastructure and the environment exacerbate risks to people, the economy and the natural environment . The built environment track includes actions to protect critical energy, transportation, and other infrastructure, support heat-resilient communities through relevant regulations and codes, and make scale weatherization and cooling technologies.
  • Use of nature-based solutions: Nature-based solutions provide multiple benefits, including combating extreme heat by cooling communities, providing strategic shade, and regulating the temperature of buildings and surfaces during extreme heat events. This track includes actions to promote nature-based solutions to reduce extreme heat risk, support nature’s ability to resist and adapt to rising temperatures, and reduce heat risk to the environment. water supply and systems.

The content and organization of the plan was guided by numerous public inputs, including listening sessions and regional workshops, as well as consultations with Native American tribes in California. Stakeholder feedback highlighted the need for the extreme heat action plan to drive coordination and collaboration among federal, state and local efforts, support localized action through funding and technical assistance , and maximize multiple-benefit strategies that advance the state’s climate and public health goals.

Progress on implementing the Extreme Heat Action Plan will be tracked as part of California’s Climate Adaptation Strategy annual reporting process to advance California’s whole-of-government approach to climate change. climate adaptation.

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