The Week Ahead: California to Work on Adaptation Strategy, China Expected to Launch Trading Platform


As Congress begins its August recess, climate and energy events in the week ahead include a California adaptation meeting and China's launch of a trading platform for rare earths. Congress is due back in session after the Sept. 3 Labor Day holiday.

California Energy Commission Meeting

Actions and strategies to make the energy sector more resilient to climate change will be the subject of a California Energy Commission staff workshop Aug. 6 in Sacramento. The workshop will present information the commission is working on for inclusion in the 2012 Climate Change Adaptation Strategyreport that is being prepared by the California Natural Resources Agency. The first draft of the commission's energy section for the report is expected to be submitted to the agency by late August. The adaptation report will update a strategy released in 2009 that suggested the state overhaul its water management and use programs, identify land and aquatic species vulnerable to global warming, and avoid development of low-lying, flood-prone areas.

 China to Launch Trading Platform

China is expected to launch a spot-trading platform for rare earths Aug. 8. T he platform is China's latest attempt to improve price discovery on the 17 metals pivotal for the renewable energy industry. As covered in a blog, concern about the supply chain for rare earth minerals—which are actually not rare, but are found in small concentrations—heated up when China, which accounts for 97 percent of the world’s production, curtailed exports in 2010. That action led the European Union, Japan, and the United States to call for the establishment of a World Trade Organization dispute panel to rule whether China's restrictions violate global trade rules.

NOAA Administrator to Give Keynote Address

Jane Lubchenco, administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is scheduled to give the keynote address during the 97th annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America Aug. 5-10 in Portland, Ore. Several sessions covering climate change are on the meeting's agenda, including one on the National Climate Assessmentdue to Congress by late 2013 on current and future climate change impacts on the United States.

EPA to Hold Webcast 

The Environmental Protection Agency's State and Local Climate and Energy Program will hold a webcast Aug. 8 on "Beating the Heat: Effective Approaches to Heat Island Reduction." The webcast will cover actions local governments can take to reduce the heat island effect, or higher temperatures in urban areas, including case studies and how to design and implement programs and policies, including cool pavements, shade trees, and cool roofs.

 Workshop to AddressCoastal Change in Florida

On Aug. 9, the Florida Sea Grant and the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve will host a workshop on "Adaptive Planning for Coastal Change: Legal Issues for Local Government." The workshop is designed to provide local government attorneys and planners with information on resources to assess potential legal liabilities and planning related to the protection of coastal properties.