Planting Seeds - Food & Farming News from CDFA

Climate Action Day Tomorrow: Secretary Ross to appear on panel on COVID-19 and climate change

With Climate Week 2020 events underway this week, Governor Gavin Newsom will host a virtual California Climate Action Day on Thursday, September 24, convening world, state, tribal and local leaders, business executives and other experts to discuss innovative solutions to a wide array of climate challenges facing the state.

The series of virtual conversations will cover topics including building the state’s climate resilience, implementing climate policies in an equitable way, aligning financial decision-making with climate realities, and delivering climate, health and equity benefits for all our communities in the state’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The day of action will kick off at 9:00 a.m. PDT with an in-depth discussion between the Governor and Van Jones on the state’s groundbreaking climate agenda.

The discussions will be streamed on the Governor’s YouTube page here and can also be viewed by registrants here.

CDFA secretary Karen Ross will appear at 12:45 pm for a panel discussion on COVID-19 and climate change.

COVID and Climate Change: What’s Next?

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted communities and institutions across California. The public health and economic crises are a stark reminder of another crisis already impacting Californians: climate change. Last year, the American Lung Association declared climate change a public health emergency. This panel will explore how the state might rebuild and refashion our communities, institutions and infrastructure going forward to build a greener, healthier, more prosperous and equitable California. It will highlight efforts underway to recover from this pandemic in a way that creates jobs while delivering climate, health and equity benefits for all Californians.


Angela Glover Blackwell
Founder in Residence, PolicyLink

Lisa Jackson
VP of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, Apple

Michael Tubbs
Mayor, City of Stockton

Karen Ross
Secretary, California Department of Food & Agriculture

Josh Fryday
Chief Service Officer, California Volunteers


Jared Blumenfeld
Secretary, California Environmental Protection Agency

The rest of the agenda is as follows:

9:00 AM

Conversation with Governor Gavin Newsom & Van Jones

In this year alone, California and much of the West Coast have endured record-setting heat and wildfires. In this conversation between Governor Newsom and award-winning journalist Van Jones, we will hear how California can deliver on our aggressive climate change agenda and continue to be the standard-bearer for change.

9:45 AM

Charting an Equitable Path to Carbon Neutrality

California is recognized globally for its environmental leadership. Notably, we have grown our economy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and are aggressively pursuing a 100 percent clean energy future and carbon neutrality by 2045. Under Governor Newsom, the state is making equity a key pillar of how we achieve those goals. This panel will explore how the state is making progress – highlighting important initiatives underway on our energy, transportation and building sectors – and address what challenges and opportunities lie ahead, and how to implement policy in an equitable way. The panel will also highlight carbon neutrality commitments in business and State government and will focus on equitable principles of our carbon neutral future.


Eduardo Garcia

CA Assemblymember, 56th Assembly District

David Hochschild

Chair, California Energy Commission

Miya Yoshitani

Executive Director, Asian Pacific Environmental Network


Mary D. Nichols

Chair, California Air Resources Board

10:45 AM

From Wildfire to Water – Investing in Nature Based Solutions to Build Climate Resilience

Like so many of our global partners, California is bearing witness to the devastating impacts of climate change.

In recent weeks, wildfires of historic size, scale, and scope have swept across our state. Lives have been lost; homes and businesses have been destroyed; and nature we treasure is gone. These fires have taken place in the middle of a deadly pandemic and heatwave, and on the heels of a prolonged drought.

As California accelerates action to build climate resilience, we are committed to joining the global call for greater attention to the benefits of nature based solutions in addressing climate change and protecting biodiversity.

This panel will showcase nature based solutions being implemented by climate leaders across the globe, and explore how they contribute to increased equity, improved public health, and expanded economic opportunity.


Henk Ovink

Special Envoy for International Water Affairs, Kingdom of the Netherlands

Margo Robbins
Co-Founder and Executive Director, Cultural Fire Management Council; Member of Yurok Tribe

Karen Shippey
Chief Director, Environmental Sustainability, Government of Western Cape, South Africa

Senator Henry Stern
California State Senate, 27th District


Wade Crowfoot
Secretary, California Natural Resources Agency

11:45 AM

Driving Adoption of Climate-Related Financial Risk Disclosure in the U.S.

Without a clear and transparent accounting of how public and private investments address climate risk and opportunity, the economy will never truly price these factors into decision making. In California, the catastrophic wildfires of 2017, 2018, and 2019 have put in sharp focus the social, economic, and personal loss that come from the current approach to allocating the costs of risk. But increased disclosure can lead to real market change, at meaningful scale.

This panel will explore how, in the absence of federally mandated risk disclosure, state and sub-national governments can promote coordinated adoption of climate-related financial risk disclosure. Panelists will share insights on what represents effective climate-related financial risk disclosure, explore the pathways for disclosure available to sub-nationals and identify clear actions to align public and private action on Financial Risk Disclosure.


Bob Litterman
Chair, Climate-Related Market Risk Subcommittee of CFTC;
Founding Partner, Kepos Capital

Craig Davies
Head of Climate Resilience Investments, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

James Manyika
Chairman and Director, McKinsey and Company

Divya Mankikar
Investment Manager, CalPERS


Kate Gordon

Director, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research & Senior Policy Advisor to the Governor on Climate

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