New Report Details How California Climate Investments Benefit Californians
For immediate release
SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board and California Department of Finance have published a new report detailing how statewide investments from cap-and-trade auction proceeds are helping California reach its climate goals while pumping millions of dollars into local economies and helping disadvantaged communities.
Known collectively as California Climate Investments, these projects further the objectives of AB 32 (Pavley), the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, landmark legislation that set a statewide limit on greenhouse gas emissions, and confirmed California’s commitment to transition to a sustainable, clean energy economy.
“This report tracks the progress of California Climate Investments at reducing greenhouse gases and the multiple benefits those investments deliver to disadvantaged communities,” said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. "Here, in one location available to every Californian are the data, details and status of thousands of individual investments that are improving our quality of life and moving California communities on a daily basis toward the sustainable, clean energy future that AB 32 was designed to deliver. "
To date, $2.6 billion has been appropriated to 12 agencies that have awarded $1.7 billion to thousands of projects and have distributed $912 million to projects completed or underway. The $1.7 billion in awarded funding has leveraged $5.7 billion in additional investments, multiplying the state’s investment and boosting emission reductions.
These investments improve the lives of Californians by increasing economic opportunities, improving air quality, increasing affordable housing, expanding public transportation and helping cut energy bills. Fifty-one percent of the total $912 million in implemented projects are providing benefits to disadvantaged communities, including 39 percent going to projects located within those communities. This exceeds the requirement under SB 535 (De León) that at least 25 percent of investments are allocated to projects that benefit disadvantaged communities.
Moreover, the 51 percent of funding that is benefiting disadvantaged communities does not include the High Speed Rail Project, which also will benefit these communities by creating thousands of construction-related jobs as well as related employment and economic development benefits in communities of the Central Valley.
“This report shows the value of investing in the communities most impacted by air pollution and other environmental hazards,” said Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León. “We’re on the right track but we have a long way to go to address the glaring inequities these communities face. I plan to build on these efforts to ensure we commit an even greater share of our investments where they are needed most.”
The awarded projects are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 14 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2E), roughly the equivalent of taking 3 million cars off the roads. In addition, the High Speed Rail Project is estimated to reduce GHG emissions by 44 million metric tons of CO2E.
The first appropriation of funds for the California Climate Investments in Fiscal Year (FY) 2013-14 provided more than $70 million. Subsequent appropriations in FY 2014-15 included more than $860 million, setting in motion significant expansions of existing and new programs that provided GHG emissions reductions to further the goals of AB 32. In FY 2015-16, the Legislature appropriated nearly $1.7 billion. The Governor’s January budget for FY 2016-17 proposed $3.1 billion in funding from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), which includes FY 2015-16 funds that were not previously appropriated.
The major areas of California’s Climate Investments include:
- Sustainable Communities
- Clean Transportation
- Energy Efficiency
- Clean Energy
- Natural Resources
- Waste Diversion
The annual report announced today is required under AB 1532 (Pérez) and details the status and outcomes of programs funded by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. The report also lists and describes each individual project funded by the GGRF. Next month, additional project level data for each of these projects will be made available on ARB’s California Climate Investment website, including the specific project locations, GHG reductions, and benefits to disadvantaged communities.
The report can be found here.