Environment & Science

California plans to adapt to climate, not just slow warming

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Political and environmental leaders from around the world will meet in Denmark next week, where the United Nations will sponsor talks on climate change policy. This week, California released its plans for adapting to a warming world.

The strategy paper from the state Department of Resources is as wide-ranging as it is long. In it, California policymakers seek to reduce greenhouse gases, and to adapt to climate conditions scientists say already are changing. Public health, biodiversity, ocean and coastal resources, agriculture, forestry, transportation and energy infrastructure all get consideration.

For 20 years, California has passed laws about global warming issues. The highest-profile example might be Assembly Bill 32, in which the state committed to reducing carbon emissions by about 25 percent within 11 years.

This new strategy aims to integrate and coordinate the plans of every state agency. Along with it, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced a new climate adaptation panel that will consider risks from wildfire, water scarcity, and rising sea levels. Their recommendations are due next summer.