Climate Resilience Overview

California is a global leader on climate change, from setting ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals, to investing in actionable climate science and investing place-based, community driven adaptation and resilience actions.

As one of the most climate-stressed places in the world, California experiences profound and varied impacts across its vast expanse. Preparing for climate change requires learning how to adapt in the face of this change in order to increase the resilience of communities, natural systems, and our built environment to withstand and recover from climate-related disruptions.

Climate adaptation and resilience are related, but distinct concepts. Generally, climate adaptation is an action or set of actions that reduce physical climate risk. California is taking steps to prepare for the impacts of a changing climate at the state, regional, and local levels; preparing for these changes is called adaptation. A series of adaptive steps contribute to resilience, which describes a state of readiness to face climate risks.

Resilience is the capacity of any entity – an individual, a community, an organization, or a natural system – to prepare for disruptions, to recover from shocks and stresses, and to adapt and grow from a disruptive experience.

To meet the scope, scale, and urgency of action needed to build climate resilience, the state is taking bold action to:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon capture, removal, and sequestration (climate mitigation);
  • Adapt and adjust natural, built, and human systems to moderate the harm and exploit beneficial opportunities from actual and expected climate-related hazards and conditions (climate adaptation); and
  • Integrate and operationalize social equity and environmental justice in all climate resilience efforts (climate equity).

Recognizing that some communities are better positioned to respond, recover, and adjust to the impact of climate change than others, State climate adaptation and resilience efforts prioritize equity to ensure a climate-resilient California for all.

State Climate Resilience Initiatives

The State has initiated a suite of climate resilience goals, policies and programs, many of which are led by or coordinated in partnership with the Office of Planning and Research, including the following:

Resources for Communities

In addition to coordinating the State’s overall climate resilience approach, OPR also supports local communities in building climate resilience and provides assistance to communities in post-disaster long-term recovery and resilience planning:

Climate Resilience Planning Resources

OPR supports the development of various guidance documents, tools and data resources, and more to support local and regional planning and implementation of the State’s climate and resilience goals and statutes.

National and International Partnerships

California cultivates partnerships at the national and international levels to advance bold action on climate change. A few examples of our collaboration include:

For More Information

Nikki Caravelli
As a Senior Analyst with the ICARP Climate Services team, Nikki manages the State Adaptation Clearinghouse and coordinates climate services, adaptation planning guidance, and technical assistance.