Climate Resolve offers numerous year-round internship opportunities to students interested in climate change, sustainability, public policy, advocacy, and community outreach. We’d like to introduce you to them, their work with us, and how they’ve helped make Los Angeles a stronger and more sustainable city in the face of climate change.

Sandra Muñoz (pictured left) and Karina Jimenez (pictured right) recently finished an internship with Climate Resolve, where they assisted with a community project in Canoga Park. The project aims to address a number of concerns: improving biking and walking safety, reducing heat and its impacts, capturing and managing water, and providing community amenities. This project is being done on behalf of Streets LA (formerly City of Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services) and in coordination with Council District 3. The project team of Alta Planning + Design and Climate Resolve hope to reach diverse community stakeholders to decide what are the challenges related to transit access and heat around Sherman Way Station, and which design strategies would be best to meet those challenges.

Hello my name is Sandra Muñoz, I am 19 years old and I am a student at the California State University of Northridge. After having completed my first semester at CSUN I have decided to double major. I will be earning a Bachelor’s degree in both Psychology and Chicano studies by the year 2022. My goal is to become educated enough to successfully impact the lives of those who live in my community. 

Why is this project important to Canoga Park?

I was born and raised in Canoga Park. Canoga Park is my home and I’ve witnessed a few changes that have occurred in the community that are for the people who live here rather than those changes that attract others to visit our small city. I strongly believe this project aims to help improve the lives of those that live in this community, and that alone makes this project important.

What did you contribute to this internship with Climate Resolve?

My contribution to this internship was pitching the idea that we should visit the local high school and ask students to take the survey. This idea came to me while I participated in intercepting surveys on Sherman Way and Canoga, after I had seen many students from the high school walking by or towards the Sherman Way station. The contribution was small but helped get us a great number of survey responses. When gathering surveys on the Sherman Way station, I was able to meet many people who were willing to take the survey due to my outgoing demeanor. 

What did you gain from the internship that you’ll take with you into the future?

As outgoing as I could possibly be I recall encountering moments of difficulty through this process. These moments came when I would attempt to translate to community members the purpose of this project. I often found myself tongue tied which is very unlike myself. Nevertheless after observing Natalie’s encounters, I proceeded to regroup and explain clearly the project’s goal outcome. I learned that at times it is best to study the expert and attempt to create a form of communication that works best for me.

 Hello, my name is Karina Jimenez I am a CSUN Bridge to the Future Scholar and I recently interned for Climate Resolve. My major is Geography and while I just completed my first year of college, I look forward to gaining more knowledge in environmental sciences. 

Why is this project important to Canoga Park?

This project will help the community of Canoga Park by making the area more comfortable to be in. Growing up in Canoga I have always noticed the busy people taking public transportation, primarily parents taking their kids to school and then going to work. This, however, becomes a more difficult task with unbearable temperatures in the valley. 

What did you contribute to this internship with Climate Resolve?

I participated in conducting intercept surveys at the Sherman Way Metro Orange Line Station as well as building partnerships with key stakeholders and informing them about the benefits this project  provides. I also had the amazing opportunity to do outreach with future stakeholders at Canoga Park High School, my former high school. 

What did you gain from the internship that you’ll take with you into the future?

Working alongside professionals helped me gain a better understanding on how to do presentations and communicate with large crowds of different backgrounds.

Climate Resolve is growing! Over the past few months, we’ve added new members to our team, and we would like to introduce them to you.

Dannah Rosales

Administrative and Operations Assistant

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley and currently live in North Hollywood, where I take advantage of Metro Red Line to commute into the city. I joined Climate Resolve this June and previously worked for other organizations such as the Los Angeles Arboretum Foundation and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. In my spare time, I enjoy eating out with friends, spending time with my niece and nephew, and visiting my local farmers market. I’m also trying to take advantage of my National Parks Pass to spend more time outside.

 What’s your role with Climate Resolve?

I’m the new Administrative and Operations Assistant here at Climate Resolve, and I’m someone on the back end who supports the team in areas of such as scheduling, bookkeeping, and data entry. I take on tasks that allow the office to operate more efficiently. 

What motivates and inspires you in your work?

While I grew up in the San Fernando Valley, I went to school in a smaller city where the community heavily advocated for sustainable living options. After returning to LA, I sought out like-minded communities and organizations because I want the same here. I’m motivated by the idea that similar changes can be implemented at a larger scale in my hometown. 

What’s one unique fact about you? (hobby, interest, etc)

Kayaking is something I try to do whenever I visit a new place. Whether here along the California coast or by a glacier in Iceland, I’m always seeking out opportunities to be on the water. I also find it a great way to learn about the natural history of the area if there is the option to go with a tour guide. 

Learn more about Dannah’s past work here and send an email to say hello. Welcome to Climate Resolve, Dannah!

Michael Paparian, former Deputy State Treasurer, Board Member of the California Integrated Waste Management Board, and Sierra Club California State Director, gives live-updates via blog post at COP24, the United Nations Climate Change Conference.

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(December 6, 2018) COP24, Katowice, Poland – Scientists have spent the three years since COP21 refining and reviewing data, observations and studies.  And since COP21 in Paris, they’ve learned to convey their findings in the clear language policymakers can understand, even preparing a special report directed at policymakers.

This is the fourth COP I’ve attended.  The sense of urgency the scientists are conveying cannot be understated.  They know what’s happening, they’re scared, and they want policymakers to take steps now to stop the worst effects of climate change.

Dr. Hoesung Lee heads the vast group of science advisors to United Nations climate efforts.  “Achieving net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases is necessary,” he told those gathered at COP24.  He also said that we need to start this rapid reduction quickly. “Every bit of warming matter.  Every year matters.  Every choice matters.”

Dr. Elena Manaenkova of the World Meteorological Organization also advises the climate policymakers.  She said the latest findings show that the hottest four years on record are the past four years (including 2018).  She also said that the current average global warming of about 1 degree centigrade is not uniform throughout the world.  The Arctic is warming at a rate of about five times faster than the rest of the earth and many land areas are also warming faster than the average.

Those of us from California know first hand the impacts that are already here.   Our recent fires destroyed lives, displaces thousands of people from their homes and caused smoke-related health impacts throughout the state.  Last month, my family wore uncomfortable breathing masks for a time in order to safely go outdoors.

California is clearly not alone.   Island nations face special concerns from sea level rise.  Other areas are facing increased hurricane and storm risk.  The heat, drought, water supply and other impacts California faces are similar to those faces by similar Mediterranean type climate zones.

There are five Mediterranean climate zones in the world, including California/northern Baha, Central Peru, southern & southwest Australia, South Africa Western Cape and the Mediterranean Basin area.

One of the COP24 workshops I attended focused on how to adjust within these climate zones:

Laurel Hunt of the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative described how her team is working with the policymakers in her region to develop a sustainability plan to address the direct and indirect impacts of climate change, including energy, transportation, public health, water and housing.  Los Angeles is embarking on an unprecedented public collaboration process to engage the citizenry in understanding and developing solutions.

Tropical and other vector-borne diseases are on the increase in Mediterranean climate regions.  West Nile Virus is on the increase in these areas.  Dr. Orna Matzner, a science advisor to the government of Israel described how a recent outbreak of Leptospirosis could be traced back to public exposure in rivers and streams.  Those water bodies had an increase in stagnant areas caused by lower water flows and drought conditions.

Alon Zask of the Israel Ministry for Environmental Protection described how a future water strategy should rely on a combination of steps, including pollution prevention, wastewater treatment and desalination.  He said that “In Israel, sewage is a water source.”  He also said that more than 50% of water used in Israel is now “manufactured” from desalination facilities.  “If we’re talking about adaptation, this is adaptation.

Geoffrey Danker of Sempra Utilities in California described how they are now addressing both the transition to renewable energy and adaptation of their infrastructure to current and future climate impacts.  They are already protecting low-lying facilities from sea level rise, addressing fire impacts, and taking other steps.  Together with other utilities, they evaluate and learn lessons from every extreme weather or fire disaster.  “The really depressing thing is that every time we get together to evaluate one disaster,” he said, another new disaster that has come along in the meantime.

Dr. Jordan Harris of Adapt Chile said his country has faced severe fires and droughts as have other similar Mediterranean regions.  He summed up the situation for these regions, saying they have become a “climate laboratory” as more and more climate events affect their country.

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Michael Paparian consults on environmental issues and is former Deputy State Treasurer, Board Member of the California Integrated Waste Management Board and Sierra Club California State Director.

Today, Climate Resolve joined nearly 50 organizations across the state in releasing a comprehensive, forward-thinking transportation platform to guide Governor-Elect Gavin Newsom and his administration in moving California boldly into a brighter future. The plan reflects the shared vision and priorities of dozens of transit, environment, social justice and housing partners, including Climate Resolve, ClimatePlan, PolicyLink, California Bicycle Coalition, California Walks, and the Planning and Conservation League.

“The platform released today and given to Governor-Elect Newsom is an exciting opportunity to build a more equitable and climate-friendly state for all Californians,” said Bryn Lindblad, Deputy Director of Climate Resolve. “A network of partners stand ready to get to work and assist however possible to build momentum to improve accessibility and sustainable transportation options.”

The platform offers a clear vision for Governor-Elect Newsom to provide every Californian access to convenient, dignified, and low-cost public transit and active transportation options that get them where they need to go. Affordable housing and preserving open space are key synergistic strategies. It builds on California’s global leadership in lowering greenhouse gas emissions, transitioning to clean energy, and combating climate change, by offering specific steps and actions, which fall into the following categories:

  • Prioritizing transportation that moves California forward — such as public transit, walking, biking and scooting
  • Acting to meet the greatest needs first — by prioritizing funds for historically marginalized communities and through meaningful public participation
  • Championing housing justice for California communities — with anti-displacement strategies and equitable infill development
  • Cleaning up our air — by speeding up the transition to clean technologies
  • Recognizing the true value of California’s landscapes — using data and incentives to direct conservation decisions

“There is an opportunity to make transportation investments differently than California has done in the past, and this platform spells out that opportunity. We need to be investing in ways that close equity gaps, and correct past harms. It is a way to pursue transportation justice and improve accessibility and mobility for all Californians,” said Jared Sanchez, Senior Policy Advocate with California Bicycle Coalition.

The platform – if implemented – represents a shift towards a more sustainable and equitable future for California. Results will alleviate traffic congestion, reduce climate pollution, relieve transportation cost burdens, improve public health, and increase quality of life for all Californians.

“With last week’s news that California regions are not on track to meet climate goals, it’s time to get serious about reducing emissions from driving, “ said Ella Wise, State Policy Associate for ClimatePlan. “We look forward to the state’s leadership on this.”

To read the full platform, please visit:

http://climateresolve.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Transportation-Platform_Lead-The-Way.pdf

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Michael Paparian, former Deputy State Treasurer, Board Member of the California Integrated Waste Management Board, and Sierra Club California State Director, gives live-updates via blog post at COP24, the United Nations Climate Change Conference.

COP24, Katowice, Poland – This is my fourth COP.  My first was COP21 in Paris where the international agreements to address climate change finally formalized.  People came away energized and feeling that as countries submitted their plans for climate solutions, we’d truly be on a right path to resolving the climate crisis.  

By my third COP in Bonn, Germany last year, there was a wide recognition that all the country commitments were not enough to avoid catastrophic climate change, but there was hope that countries would start to move more aggressively to curtail fossil fuel use and other greenhouse gas contributors.

The scientists are telling us that we should limit earth temperature increases to 1.5 degrees centigrade and that if it goes above 2 degrees, our troubles will escalate rapidly.  Even if we limit our temperature increases, we’ll still see many impacts, including sea level rise, more extreme weather events, drought and health impacts. At higher levels, the habitability of large areas of our planet will come into question.

The sense of urgency is clearly prevalent at COP24, but so is a sense that many governments are saying the right things at these sessions, then failing to make the changes necessary to curtail fossil fuels quickly enough.  

Most countries agree there is a problem and are increasing renewable energy.  But many countries are then continuing to use or even expand the use of coal and other fossil fuels.  Not enough governments are providing the needed climate leadership and some such as the US national government are overtly backsliding in climate commitments.

Sir David Attenborough, still strong in his environmental voice at 92 years, told the gathered heads of governments and others, “Leaders of the world you must lead. If we don’t take action the collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.”

Leading means more than talking, said Dr. Gale Tracy Christiane Rigobert, Saint Lucian Minister for Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development at an event I attended today.  We need to be sure these “events as ‘talkshops’ will end with COP24,” she said.

Though Poland is hosting COP24, the government is among those that cling to archaic energy sources.  New coal projects are still proposed, even though many workers in the coal industry are pushing for a faster transition to clean energy jobs.  

To most observers, the issue of coal is clear and immediate.  “We must phase out coal,” said Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, former President of COP20, Peru Environmental Minister and current leader of World Wildlife Fund’s global climate and energy practice.  “There is no Plan B for coal.” What should come out of this COP to get us on the right path?

Mr. Pulgar-Vidal, along with many others, are saying that the existing system of country promises isn’t enough and that there needs to be a clearer set of rules for how countries evaluate their emissions and commit to solutions.  There is some hope that a framework for these rules will emerge during COP24, to be finalized in time for renewed country commitments and actions by 2020.

We’ll see in the next few days if an action path is agreed to by the gathered governments (absent the commitment of the current US national government, of course).  

One individual offered himself as an action example.  Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said, “Nobody is better at action than I am because I make action movies .. but this is the real world.”

Let’s hope that the real world and real leaders take the real action steps we need.

Michael Paparian consults on environmental issues and is former Deputy State Treasurer, Board Member of the California Integrated Waste Management Board and Sierra Club California State Director.

The LA County Board of Supervisors today approved an amendment to County Building Code to add cool roof standards (County Code, Title 31).

This landmark ordinance will help the Los Angeles region stay cooler in hotter temperatures and save lives from the impact of extreme heat.

This ordinance will require cool roofing materials to be utilized on newly-constructed buildings, and during alterations and additions to existing buildings within unincorporated jurisdictions. There were no such standards on new construction or roofing retrofits prior to today’s LA County ordinance.

What is a cool roof? These roofs are comprised of materials that reflect the sun’s energy back into the atmosphere (known as the “Solar Reflectivity Index” or SRI). This effect reduces heat absorption and cools the building under the roof as well as the surrounding community.

The nonprofit organization, Climate Resolve, supported and helped to pass this policy, as they assisted the passage of a similar ordinance in 2014 for the City of Los Angeles.

“Today, Los Angeles County boldly adopted the most rigorous cool roofing ordinance in the United States,” said Jonathan Parfrey, executive director of Climate Resolve. “This simple technology will help the public stay cooler, both inside and outside the home. Cool roofs have the added benefit of lowering utility bills, as well as reducing air pollution, saving water and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

The new cool roof ordinance can be found here: http://file.lacounty.gov/SDSInter/bos/supdocs/128172.pdf


Climate Resolve is a Los Angeles-based 501(c)(3) tax-deductible nonprofit organization, founded in 2010, that focuses on local solutions to global climate change, and works to achieve outcomes that bestow multiple benefits.

We work to make California more equitable, just, livable, prosperous, and sustainable today and for generations to come by inspiring people at home, at work, and in government to reduce climate pollution as well as prepare for climate impacts.

LClimate Resolve, Los Angeles’ premiere climate action organization, applauds the passage of AB 398 and AB 617 in the California legislature.

“This is a big win for California,” said Jonathan Parfrey, executive director of Climate Resolve. “Extending the cap-and-trade emissions reduction program until 2030 will ensure that California will be able to meet its ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.”

“Additionally, this is a big win for Californians. Auctions from the cap-and-trade program will continue to provide billions of dollars for projects that aid in the transition to a clean energy economy and protect Californians from the damaging effects of climate change. The accompanying bill, AB 617, will reduce air contaminants in California’s most polluted communities. This means better public health and support for a clean energy economy. It means California will be more resilient and prepared for climate impact.”

Mr. Parfrey is available for comment on today’s passing of AB 398 and AB 617.

About Climate Resolve: The Los Angeles-based nonprofit, founded in 2010, is dedicated to creating real, practical solutions to meet the climate challenge while building a better city for Angelenos.

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LMore than 1200 attendees are convening today for the Climate Day LA conference to move climate solutions forward in Los Angeles. LA-based nonprofit Climate Resolve teamed up with ecoAmericato offer the day-long event at the The Theater at Ace Hotel (933 S. Broadway, Los Angeles), as part of their joint efforts to empower, engage, and celebrate new and established Angeleno leaders on climate solutions for the Path to Positive LA initiative.

Panels with leading and emerging leaders aim to accelerate and diversify Los Angeles climate leadership within five sectors — faith, health, business, higher education and local government. Speakers for the free conference: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, former LA mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Tom Steyer (NextGen Climate), Dr. Mark Gold (UCLA), Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker (AME Church), Rachelle Reyes Wenger (Dignity Health), Avishay Artsy (KCRW), Araceli Campos (LA County Women and Girls Initiative), Nourbese Flint (Black Women for Wellness), Aura Vasquez (LADWP). The evening benefit gala to cap off Climate Day LA will feature a DJ set by Moby.

“Now is the time to engage Angelenos on climate change,” said Jonathan Parfrey, Executive Director of Climate Resolve. “Washington is now intransigent and so Los Angeles must accelerate our walk on the path to a clean sustainable economy. When the feds go low, we go local.”

“People are told that the can’t make a difference on climate change, but the truth is just the opposite,” said Bob Perkowitz, President and Founder of ecoAmerica. “Angelenos see the benefit that solutions will bring to their lives, and if they lead on climate, so can any city, state, or nation. Los Angeles is poised to take up the mantle.”

The event is part of the Path to Positive campaign jointly organized by the nonprofits Climate Resolve and ecoAmerica. Sponsors and supporters include SoCal Edison, Faucet Face, Thrive Market, NextGen Climate, LADWP, SoCalGas, KIND, REI, dert bags, Athens Services, Repurpose, Endangered Species Chocolate, ALTER ECO, Imperfect Produce, Harvest Straws, and EZC Pak.

About Climate Resolve: The Los Angeles-based nonprofit founded in 2010 creates practical solutions to meet the climate challenge while building a better city for Angelenos.

About ecoAmerica: ecoAmerica is a national nonprofit that builds institutional leadership, public support, and political will for climate solutions in the United States.

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With the passing of Measure M, voters in Los Angeles County overwhelmingly supported the construction of a comprehensive, multi-modal transportation system in Southern California. Measure M projects will result in less traffic, cleaner air, and a reduction in climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions.

“The largest share of California’s climate pollution comes from burning fossil fuel on the road. This is a huge win for Los Angeles,” said Climate Resolve Executive Director Jonathan Parfrey. “These investments in public transit, active transportation, and green infrastructure will improve the lives of Angelenos.”

“Our transportation infrastructure has been part of the problem for too long, spurring sprawl development patterns and adding to the urban heat island effect,” said Bryn Lindblad, Climate Resolve’s Associate Director. “But now Angelenos have chosen to make it part of the solution instead.”
 
Climate Resolve is a leading member of the EnviroMetro coalition, made up of 68 local organizations advocating for green, equitable, and healthy transportation. In the past year, EnviroMetro led Metro to adopt new green infrastructure policies to ensure that new construction projects will be built to the highest standards and deliver multiple benefits to Angelenos.

Parfrey and Lindblad are available for comment on the news.
Parfrey: 310-261-0832; Lindblad: 310-227-0184.


About Climate Resolve: The Los Angeles-based nonprofit founded in 2010 creates practical solutions to meet the climate challenge while building a better city for Angelenos.  

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LAn action plan released today by four state and regional agencies suggests the Los Angeles region will face as many as 14 days of power outages this summer and an additional eight to 18 days later in 2016 as a result of the Aliso Canyon gas leak and subsequent shutdown of the facility.

The report by The California Energy Commission, California Public Utilities Commission, California Independent System Operator, and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, proposes ways to reduce — but not eliminate — the risk of gas shortages that could interrupt electrical service to utility customers across Los Angeles. Before the disaster six months ago, the Aliso Canyon facility provided natural gas to nearly 20 power plants in Los Angeles County.

“This will be the third way Angelenos have been harmed by the Aliso Canyon disaster,” said Climate Resolve Executive Director Jonathan Parfrey. “First, nearby residents were displaced, then there’s the damage from greenhouse gas pollution. Now, Angelenos can expect days without power, putting the public at risk for health impacts.”

“This is more than simply inconvenience — the outages will likely put vulnerable people at risk for health impacts. That this report is released the same week that the White House released its new report, “The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment,” underscores the need to take steps to protect the public. Extreme heat days and prolonged heat waves put the public at risk for more premature deaths and an increase in chronic and acute cardiovascular and respiratory symptoms. 2015 had the highest temperatures since records began being taken in 1880 — and 2016 has the potential to again set new high average temperatures.

“Immediate action is necessary to prepare for projected power outages this summer,” said Parfrey.

Action #1 – Notification. The ability to project, monitor, and then warn the public is vital. We need to use up-to-date vulnerability risk assessments and heat health warning systems to identify vulnerable populations. We need the ability to project extreme heat as well as measure the effects of high temperatures, relative humidity, and air-mass type. And then we need to deploy public health and emergency management teams to notify these most vulnerable sectors of Los Angeles.

Action #2 – Protection. Once an extreme heat event has begun, several mitigating actions can be taken to protect the public, starting with social-connectedness programs in which families, friends, and neighbors are instructed to check in with one another. We also need to expand accessibility to cooling centers and increase emergency medical services both during daytime and nighttime.

Action #3 – Planning. The potential for blackouts increases the need to update our energy systems and ratchet down consumption. Increasing distributed generating capacity such as rooftop solar and implementing energy efficiency measures to lower the amount of energy consumed can help protect against outages. Currently there are a number of programs available at the state and local level, but more could be done.

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Climate Resolve