A high-profile group is calling on Governor-elect Jerry Brown to appoint a climate risk council within his administration to study and develop strategies for adapting to climate change. The advocacy group--known as the California Adaptation Advisory Panel to the State of California--released its recommendations Nov. 22 in a report funded by BP, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and The Haynes Foundation. The advisory panel worked under the auspices of the Los Angeles-based non-profit the Pacific Council on International Policy, which is co-chaired by John Bryson, former chair of Edison International, and Robert H. Tuttle, former U.S. ambassador to the U.K If appointed by Brown, the climate risk council is expected to identify risk assessment techniques that government agencies and developers could use in land-use decision-making. It would recommend funding sources to safeguard existing developments against expected sea level rise, increased wildfires, and reduced water supplies up and down the state. It also would work to get the state\u2019s business and government leaders focused on how to handle the impacts of the changing climate through 2100. The panel\u2019s report echoes a state climate adaptation plan adopted in 2009. The Natural Resources Agency\u2019s plan calls for actions to deal with climatic changes, from preparing public health officials to deal with hotter temperatures to changing zoning plans in coastal areas to account for rising sea levels. Specifically, it seeks to cut per capita water use 20 percent by 2020 to deal with changing precipitation patterns and to move to 33 percent renewable energy by then. It further calls for new water infrastructure, enhanced fire-fighting capabilities, and changes to land development patterns to account for climate change (Current, Aug. 7, 2009). The advisory panel was co-chaired by Pat Levin, IBEW Local 47 business manager, Mason Willrich, California Independent System Operator board chair, and William Reilly, senior advisor at TPG Capital and former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator. * * * * * Amid a flurry of solar thermal power plant approvals this fall, the California Energy Commission Dec. 1 is set to approve a construction license for the gas-fired Competitive Power Ventures Sentinel Project in Riverside County near Palm Springs. The 850 MW unit, which the developer bills as needed to help integrate more renewable energy into the grid, will emit 960,504 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year, according to the Energy Commission. A commission analysis says the plant will cut greenhouse gas emissions from the state\u2019s overall grid by replacing power from less efficient generating plants in the Los Angeles area. Licensing for the plant would come after the South Coast Air Quality Management District awarded emissions offset credits for particulate pollution. Environmental justice groups hotly contested the award of the credits, which comes amid a shortage of offsets on the open market in the polluted area. Once built, the facility would fall under the California Air Resources Board\u2019s anticipated carbon cap-and-trade program. The Air Board is expected to adopt the program later this month. * * * * * Mayors--including Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles--penned an agreement in Mexico City Nov. 21 to voluntarily cut greenhouse gas emissions and register their emissions and emission reductions with a recently formed organization, known as the \u201ccarbonn Cities Climate Registry.\u201d (It is operated out of Bonn, Germany, which is why \u201ccarbonn\u201d has two \u201cnn\u201ds.) They signed the pledge, known as The Mexico City Pact, at the World Mayors Summit on Climate, hosted by Mexico City and the city\u2019s mayor Marcelo Ebrard, who chairs World Mayors Council on Climate. A total of 135 global cities signed the document, which establishes a monitoring and verification mechanism for cities to address climate change. Mayors plan to present their pact later this month to the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change when it meets in Cancun, Mexico.