Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger joined other political and business leaders on San Francisco’s Treasure Island this morning to announce the release of the final report of the state’s strategy to address climate change.
The California Climate Adaptation Strategy is an effort to address the effects of climate change on the state, which scientists estimate could cause temperatures to rise by as many as seven degrees and threaten $2.5 trillion of California’s assets in the next century.
“There’s no single issue that threatens our planet’s health and prosperity more than climate change,” Schwarzenegger said.
The governor pointed out that the estimated rise of sea levels over the next century would put most of Treasure Island underwater, as well as many coastal regions in the Bay Area.
The report announced today, headed by the state’s Natural Resources Agency, focused on seven different sectors–public health, biodiversity and habitat, ocean and coastal resources, water management, agriculture, forestry, and transportation and energy infrastructure – and made recommendations on reducing risks caused by climate change.
“I’m always about thinking ahead, and we’ll save the state billions of dollars if we start thinking about all of those threats right now,” Schwarzenegger said.
One of the recommendations made in the report was to create the Climate Adaptation Advisory Panel, a 23-person panel made up of prominent business, labor, government and private sector leaders.
The panel will not receive a salary, and will focus on three hazards, increased wildfires, rising sea levels, and reduced availability of water, that are likely to impact California in the coming years.
They will develop recommendations for the governor and Legislature in July 2010.
Also at today’s news conference was Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who announced Cal-Adapt, a program the Mountain View-based company had developed that will allow Californians to see the risks of climate change impacts in their own communities.
The Google Earth-based application will allow users to see the predicted effects of climate change and help them make better-informed decisions at the local level, according to the governor’s office.
Schmidt said the program is “a very useful tool to try to understand the world we love, the only world we have, and what we’re doing to it.”
The Climate Adaptation Strategy report, as well as the Cal-Adapt program, can be accessed at the state’s climate change portal at www.climatechange.ca.gov.