June 1, 2016

California Assembly Passes Bill to Protect Public Infrastructure from Climate Change

Engineers and Climate Scientists Would Form Working Group to Integrate Climate Science into Engineering Design Best Practices

 Statement by Jason Barbose, Western States Policy Manager, Union of Concerned Scientists

OAKLAND, Calif. (June 1, 2016)—The California Assembly today passed AB 2800 (Quirk, D-Hayward), a bill requiring the creation of a climate-safe infrastructure working group. If passed by the Senate and signed into law, it would help address a dangerous disconnect between engineering and climate science that threatens the safety and benefits of costly public infrastructure projects. The bill passed off the Assembly floor with a vote of 52-16.

Below is a statement by Jason Barbose, Western States Policy Manager, Union of Concerned Scientists.

“It is critical that costly public infrastructure projects that are built to last for many decades—such as roads, bridges, dams, reservoirs and buildings—remain safe and reliable as climate change results in higher temperatures, more frequent and intense extreme weather events, and accelerated sea level rise. Engineers regularly design projects assuming that the past is a good predictor of the future, but this practice is no longer viable. AB 2800 will require engineers and climate scientists to collaborate to help our state design and build infrastructure that will withstand the unavoidable impacts of a changing climate. The California Senate should follow the Assembly’s lead by also passing this important bill.”

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with people across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.