Press Release Adapting to a Changing Climate, State Asks for Public Comment

Published: 10/18/2021

Contact: Luis Jimenez, 916-695-0049,

Sacramento, CA – California is confronting the climate crisis head-on. On the heels of Governor Newsom’s historic $15 billion climate investment, the state today released a draft of the 2021 California Climate Adaptation Strategy. The draft strategy is designed to accelerate climate adaptation action across regions and sectors in California; identify how key state agency actions fit together to achieve these priorities; and build on the successes and lessons learned since the first climate adaptation strategy in 2009. The final strategy will be released as a website that serves as a hub for state climate resilience action.

“Californians are experiencing what scientists have been explaining for decades: climate change is accelerating and threatening our communities and way of life,” said California Secretary for Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot. “Catastrophic wildfires, worsening drought, and record-breaking heat now threaten our communities and natural places. This Adaptation Strategy directly responds to these threats. It links together several important efforts already underway to protect people and nature from climate change and prioritizes additional actions we must take. Simply put, there’s no time to waste.”

The 2021 Strategy integrates key elements of the state’s latest sector-specific plans and – for the first time -- includes a success metric and timeline for completion for every action. All metrics and timeframes presented in the draft are still in progress and undergoing internal review. Across the Newsom Administration, steps are being taken, at the Governor’s direction, to accelerate climate action timelines where possible. Public input received will inform the state’s approach to finalizing the Strategy.

Releasing the final strategy as a website will allow Californians to easily access information on state climate adaptation efforts and allow for more regular updates to reflect progress and adjustments.

State entities across the administration contributed to the development of the draft, which was coordinated by the California Natural Resources Agency and the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research. It was also informed by the experience and recommendations of hundreds of people across the state who participated in more than a dozen workshops. Now, with a draft strategy completed, the public is once again asked to step forward and offer additional input.

“While California remains committed to ambitious emissions reductions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, communities across the state are already experiencing its destructive effects,” said Office of Planning and Research Director Samuel Assefa. “To respond to the urgency of the moment, the 2021 Climate Adaptation Strategy establishes clear and strategic outcomes to guide collective action, including an ‘All-of-Government’ approach to climate resilience. Appreciation goes to our state colleagues and stakeholders who’ve committed time and energy to develop such an ambitious and actionable path forward. We look forward to continued stakeholder engagement to further strengthen the final strategy over the next few months.”

Public review and comment on the draft 2021 California Climate Adaptation Strategy is welcome through November __. This phase also includes a webinar October 22 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. for staff to walk through the draft strategy three regional public comment workshops, and two tribal listening sessions.

The workshop schedule and information will be posted on the 2021 California Climate Adaptation Strategy web page.

Updating this Strategy serves as an important opportunity to identify gaps in the current approach. Early on, it was identified that California lacks an up-to-date framework for addressing extreme heat – a climate impact already impacting every region of the state. To close this gap, the administration is developing a strategic and comprehensive set of state actions that reflect the urgent need for action on extreme heat. Additional information on how to provide input into the Extreme Heat Framework is forthcoming.

About the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research

As the State of California’s comprehensive planning agency, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research studies future research and planning needs, fosters goal-driven collaboration, and delivers guidance to state partners and local communities, with a focus on land use and community development, climate risk and resilience, and high road economic development.