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In this episode, America Adapts talks with innovative climate leader, Jonathan Parfrey, the Executive Director of Climate Resolve (CR). The mission of Climate Resolve “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.” Jonathan talks about how CR approaches climate change at the city scale, with the goal of not only making Los Angeles more resilient in the face of climate change, but also improving the overall quality of life of Angelos. It is not a typical mission for most adaptation professionals,, but as Jonathan explains, it’s a strategy that successfully gets broad public support for their activities.
Learn about CR’s “Cool Roofs” program, a citywide program to help low income residents obtain solar panels. Jonathan also talks about efforts to create a more integrated and green transportation system for Los Angeles. We also learn about specific climate change impacts that Los Angeles is currently experiencing, and also, future impacts. Climate Resolve emphasizes partnerships and they have assumed a major role in bringing together regional partners in these efforts.
What really stands out is the proactive approach the city of Los Angeles is taking on these issue, along with the state of California providing substantial support for cities to address climate change. Hopefully what happens in California will spread across the country. The state truly is an incubator for cutting edge climate change planning. There’s a lot more, so have a listen to Jonathan tell Climate Resolve’s story.
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Before founding Climate Resolve, Jonathan Parfrey served as a commissioner at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (2008-2013). Jonathan is also the immediate past-president of the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters. He is a founder and Vice Chair of CicLAvia, the popular street event, as well as the founder of the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability, and the statewide Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation. He served as director of the GREEN LA Coalition (2007-2011), and as the Los Angeles director of Nobel Peace Prize-winning organization Physicians for Social Responsibility (1994 to 2007). Prior to that, Jonathan founded and directed the Orange County Catholic Worker (1987-1993). He was appointed to Governor Schwarzenegger’s Environmental Policy Team in 2003.