Our Approach

Our Mission

The mission of the California Climate Action Initiative is to accelerate the translation of evidence-based knowledge into practical climate resilience strategies; to convene multi-sectoral stakeholders; and to rapidly scale promising solutions across California, the nation and world.

Our Approach

August 22, 2023


The Climate Crisis is upon us. It will get much worse over the next few decades as the planetary heating shoots past 1.5°C by early 2030s. However, the warming curve is likely to bend around the latter half of this century if global scale actions are taken now to mitigate emissions of the heat trapping pollutants. Since we don’t have control over global actions, we, no more, have the luxury of relying just on mitigation of emissions. We need a new strategy that focuses holistically on the health and well-being of Californians. The strategy must involve pivoting from mitigation-only approaches to Climate Resilience.


Climate Resilience must be built on three pillars: 1) Mitigation to reduce climate risks; 2) Adaptation to manage unavoidable risks and 3) Societal Transformation to enable mitigation and adaptation. Climate resilience is part of a triplet (trio or trifecta) of interlinked environmental crises: Climate Change; Biodiversity Loss; and Global Inequality.


We need to embark on building climate resilience as our central climate action, so that people, together, can bend the emissions curve and rebound from the climate crisis in a safer, healthier, and wealthier manner to a sustainable world.  Climate resilience requires both cross-disciplinary partnerships among researchers and entrepreneurs, as well as trans-disciplinary partnerships between academia and community leaders, including faith leaders, NGOs, and the public. Mayors must form the core of such transdisciplinary partnerships.  Thus far, academic institutions have targeted mainly cross-disciplinary partnerships. We must broaden our horizons and bring in the stakeholders (city and community leaders including faith leaders) to address the following questions: how do we translate research to solutions, and how do we help city leaders to implement these solutions?

To answer these and other questions, a series of meetings and summits that includes researchers, stakeholders, and communities is proposed.  The first summit would focus on mayors and community leaders of California towns and cities to learn firsthand impacts of climate on their communities. 


Our Story

Meet Our Co-Chairs


Veerabhadran Ramanathan


Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Sciences

Theresa Maldonado


Vice President for Research & Innovation

Meet Our Steering Committee



Ex-Officio:  Provost Katherine Newman