RIVERSIDE, California, February 24, 2020: As communities throughout California’s inland southern region experience devastating wildfires, droughts, and extreme heat, a new regional collaborative launches to coordinate and accelerate local responses to climate change. This new collaborative comes at a critical time when the impacts of climate change continue to pose serious threats to communities in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Imperial counties.
The region is expected to see daily maximum temperatures increase by 8-14°F and areas burned by wildfires increase by 60-75% by end of century, according to California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment. Urgent action must be taken to safeguard communities against these impacts, which directly threaten public health and safety, as well as the region’s infrastructure, economic development, and water supply.
“Academic researchers such as myself are increasingly interested in partnering with stakeholders to turn our climate science findings and knowledge into action,” said Dr. Francesca Hopkins, a UC Riverside Climate Change and Sustainability professor. “The collaborative is an ideal place for engagement.”
UC Riverside is joined by over a dozen local agencies and organizations as founding members of the collaborative, including the cities of Colton, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, and Riverside, San Bernardino County, San Bernardino County Transportation Authority, CSU San Bernardino, #FridaysforFuture, Huerta del Valle, Dudek, National Community Renaissance, SoCalGas, and The Community Foundation.
Many of the collaborative’s founding members are already taking action. The City of Ontario received a $33.25 million Transformative Climate Communities grant to implement a suite of projects related to affordable housing, multimodal transportation, urban greening, rooftop solar, and workforce development. The City of Colton established incentives for electric vehicle adoption and plans to increase the city’s tree canopy by 30%. Community-based organizations are also taking action including Huerta del Valle’s community gardening program, which currently includes 62 family plots. Through participation in ISC3, these efforts can be expanded or replicated while creating a shared vision and roadmap for climate resilience throughout the region.
The new collaborative will also enable the region to attract additional investments as California state agencies turn their attention to regional approaches to solve entrenched issues, including the Regions Rise Together initiative and the Strategic Growth Council’s Regional Climate Collaborative Program. ISC3 now joins seven existing regional climate collaboratives in California.
“Tackling and responding to effects of climate change hazards require collaboration and we are excited to be part of this important effort,” said Josh Lee, Chief of Planning at the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority. “We invite all agencies, organizations, and businesses throughout our region to join us in creating climate-resilient communities.”
The formation of ISC3 was funded through a Caltrans SB-1 Transportation Adaptation Planning Grant to Western Riverside Council of Governments and San Bernardino County Transportation Authority. The Local Government Commission led the formation process and Climate Resolve is serving as the collaborative’s fiscal sponsor and facilitator.
About the Inland Southern California Climate Collaborative: The Inland Southern California Climate Collaborative (ISC3) is a diverse, cross-sectoral network of agencies, organizations, companies, and institutions working together to advance equitable solutions to create a resilient and thriving Inland Southern California in the face of climate change. Through collective action, ISC3 strives to bolster local and regional efforts to avoid the worst effects of climate change while building resilience to the climate change impacts communities face today.