Western Land, Water, Energy, and Climate Policy Linkages
Impacts of climate change, already showing up across the West, are expected to intensify in the future. The Institute is ramping up to help western communities reduce and adapt to these impacts, which are evident in prolonged drought, reduced snowpack, earlier run-off, reduced water supplies, more frequent and intense wildfires, and a range of effects on plants and wildlife. For the West to prosper under a changing climate, its communities must reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to changes already underway as effectively, equitably and rapidly as possible. The Sonoran Institute offers information and tools to help local and regional decision-makers better integrate climate change strategies into planning and land management efforts.
Research: To provide new information and tools for decision-makers and land managers, the Institute is planning research on:
- The potential economic costs of various actions (or inaction) on climate change in the West
- Urban heat island issues in Western cities
- Implementing state climate action plans at the community level
- Strengthening land use planning and transportation aspects of state climate action plans
Training: To directly provide information to decision-makers and land managers in a convenient and cost effective method, Sonoran Institute is hosting Planning in the West Webinars: Lessons from Local Governments.
Sonoran Institute is offering a webinar series, Adapting to Rising Temperatures. These free technical webinars address sustainability strategies that save money, conserve resources, improve public health, respond to climate change and make communities more attractive places to live. For more information and registration details, please visit the Planning in the West Webinars page.
Conferences and Workshops: To engage stakeholders in discussions on topics that inform land, water, energy and climate policy in the West.
Sonoran Institute hosted the Watering the Sun Corridor pre-conference workshop in January 2012. Over 100 individulas participated in the interactive discussion that included small group brainstorming activities, expert presentations, and live polling. The agenda, presentations, and small group discussion notes are all available on the Watering the Sun Corridor workshop webpage. Download the Morrison Institute for Public Policy report, Watering the Sun Corridor.
- Planning for Climate Change in the West; Rebecca Carter and Susan Culp; January 2010
- Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Local Economies; Rosalind Bark; October 2009
- Land Use Planning and the Changing Climate of the West; Rebecca Carter; December 2008
- Local Land Use Planning and Climate Change Policy; David Metz and Curtis Below; December 2009
- Driving Climate Change Mitigation at Multiple Levels of Governance in the West; Timothy Richards; September 2009
Wildland-Urban Interface: As more Americans seek to live among the West’s wild beauty, the risk of loss of homes and livelihoods to wildfires increases – and climate change heightens that risk. The Sonoran Institute is exploring opportunities to address this issue.