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Making the Global Local – Climate Adaptation Series



The Local Impacts of Climate Change


[02:05] Introduction of co-host Kate Meis.

[03:17] Introduction of Steve Frisch.

[03:53] Introduction of Jonathan Parfrey.

[04:30] Steve describes his organization, Sierra Business Council.

[05:56] Jonathan describes his organization, Climate Resolve.

[08:53] Jonathan explains the governance of jurisdictional-boundary issues.

[10:47] Steve and Jonathan discuss how to bring people together to think about issues of governance and building resiliency.

[15:55] Steve and Jonathan speak about the opportunities to bring regions together to mobilize a unified voice around change.

[21:21] Jonathan relates how he’s been able to locally engage people, as well as some of the efforts of The Path to Positive.


Kate Meis is the Executive Director of the Local Government Commission (LGC). Kate is a champion for local governments; a recognized leader in local climate change adaptation, mitigation and clean energy efforts; and an ardent coalition builder. She obtained a Masters of Science degree in Community and Regional Development from the University of California, Davis, and has a Sociology Bachelor’s degree from California State University, Sonoma.

Jonathan Parfrey is the Executive Director and Founder of Climate Resolve, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit, founded in 2010, that is dedicated to creating practical solutions to meet the climate challenge while making Southern California more livable and prosperous today and for generations to come by inspiring people at home, at work, and in government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution, as well as prepare for climate change impacts.

Steve Frisch is President of Sierra Business Council and one of its founding members. Over the last 20 years, Sierra Business Council has leveraged more than $100 million of investment in the Sierra Nevada and its communities through community and public-private partnerships. Sierra Business Council also manages the Sierra Small Business Development Center focusing on advancing sustainable business practices and linking new and expanding businesses to climate mitigation and adaptation funding.


For over 35 years LGC has connected cutting-edge leaders from across the nation. Together they are advancing transformative policies and implementing innovative solutions for sustainable communities. LGC works to build livable communities and local leadership by connecting leaders via innovative programs and network opportunities, advancing policies through participation at the local and state level, and implementing solutions as a technical assistance provider and advisor to local jurisdictions. With roots in California and a national reputation, LGC offers inspiration, information, and partnership for local and regional champions dedicated to building thriving communities that integrate civic engagement with environmental, social and economic priorities.

Climate Resolve is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit, founded in 2010, that is dedicated to creating real, practical solutions to meet the climate challenge while building a better city for Angelenos. Their mission is to make Southern California more livable and prosperous today and for generations to come by inspiring people at home, at work, and in government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution, as well as prepare for climate change impacts.

Sierra Business Council pioneers and demonstrates innovative approaches and solutions to increase community vitality, economic prosperity, environmental quality, and social fairness in the Sierra Nevada. In the Sierra Nevada, change and challenge create opportunities. Through innovation, integrity, and respect, Sierra Business Council harnesses these opportunities by implementing projects that model proactive change. Their goal is a diverse, inventive, and sustainable region where the economy is vibrant, the land is thriving, and the communities offer opportunity for all. They act as steward leaders of the region, taking responsibility for the care and responsible management of our place, guided by the triple bottom line that considers the economy, environment, and community simultaneously.


“It was very clear from the first minute I was in business in the Sierra Nevada that we weren’t really properly valuing ecosystem function, the natural environment, people’s connection to nature as part of the system. Sierra Business Council was really founded around this idea that natural, social, and financial capital should be equally valued and that economies should serve nature and the community at the same time.”

“If you just tell people that there are going to be these huge impacts from climate on a local region, people turn off, they don’t pay attention. You have to provide some tangible, real ways that are commensurate with the problem that they can help meet that climate challenge. And so even though climate change is global in nature, it really does come down to where people live, and so our organization decided to focus in on how Southern California can meet the climate challenge and also what can be done locally, what we can do to tangibly make things better within our own region.”

“We believe it’s essential to take this global issue and make it felt in a very tangible way at the local level, basically neighborhood by neighborhood and household by household.”

“I think one of our great challenges and great opportunities is really strengthening the connection between urban climate adaptation planning and rural climate adaptation planning, because we share the same ecosystem and we’re often working in the same ecosystem. And I think that’s an incredibly important part of what something like the Climate Adaptation Forum can do is provide an opportunity to work across the boundaries that have traditionally divided us.”


Infinite Earth Radio Episode 37: Climate Communication—Climate Adaptation Series, Part 2 In Part 2 of our Climate Adaptation Series, we share methods for communicating climate change issues to diverse stakeholder groups. 

Infinite Earth Radio Episode 38: Economics of Climate Change-Climate Adaptation Series, Part 3 In Part 3 of our Climate Adaptation Series, we discuss how to fund and finance climate adaptation equitably, when disadvantaged communities are at the greatest risk.

Infinite Earth Radio Episode 39: Cap and Trade, Where Do We Go From Here? – Climate Adaptation Series, Part 4 In the final episode of our Climate Adaptation Series, we discuss cap and trade in California, environmental justice concerns, and the best path forward.

2016 Climate Adaptation Forum

Local Government Commission (LCG)

Climate Resolve


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