California Climate Investments Co-benefit Assessment Methodologies
California Climate Investments support the State's climate change goals and provide many additional benefits to individuals, households, businesses, and communities. These "co-benefits" include social, economic, and environmental benefits. CARB provides guidance on quantification methods and reporting to administering agencies. CARB contracted with the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) to help research and develop methods for evaluating project co-benefits. Guidance on using the co-benefit assessment methodologies is contained in CARB's Funding Guidelines.
The co-benefits listed below were prioritized based on administering agency input and broad applicability to California Climate Investments programs. UC Berkeley first reviewed the scientific data to determine if methods could be developed and summarized the findings in literature reviews. Next, UC Berkeley and CARB developed Co-benefit Assessment Methodologies where feasible. CARB solicited public comment on draft versions in Spring 2018 prior to posting final Co-benefit Assessment Methodologies. CARB may review and update assessment methodologies periodically based on: new or evolving project types; new legislation; available resources; new scientific developments or tools, or modifications in the analytical tools or approaches upon which the methodologies were based; or input from administering agencies or the public.
An asterisk (*) and bold text indicates a document is open for comment. To comment or send questions, contact us at GGRFProgram@arb.ca.gov.
Note: These quantification methods have been developed specifically for the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund programs and are not intended for use in other programs.
To request a copy of previous versions of the Co-benefit Assessment Methodologies and Calculator Tools, please send an email to GGRFProgram@arb.ca.gov.
Description: Methods to prospectively estimate the number of jobs supported by California Climate Investments projects.
Methodology: Job Co-benefit Modeling Assessment Methodology
Literature: Literature Review on Jobs
Air Pollutant Emissions
Description: Methods to estimate emissions of select criteria and toxic air pollutants, including particulate matter (PM2.5 and diesel PM), nitrogen oxides (NOX), and reactive organic gases (ROG).
Travel Cost Savings
Description: Methods to estimate changes in travel costs as a result of switching travel modes (e.g., switching from driving a car to riding mass transit, biking, or walking).
Literature: Literature Review on Travel Cost Savings
1/7/2020 - CARB staff corrected calculation errors in Appendix C and D. No changes were made to the QM equations.
Vehicle Miles Traveled
Description: Methods to estimate changes in vehicle miles traveled as a result of transportation mode shift (e.g., switching from driving a car to riding mass transit, biking, or walking) or limiting expansive, vehicle dependent forms of development (e.g., land conservation that supports infill development).
Methodology: CARB GHG Quantification Methodologies
Literature: Literature Review on Vehicle Miles Traveled
Energy and Fuel Cost Savings
Description: Methods to estimate changes in energy and fuel costs as a result of changing the quantity of energy or fuel used, conversion to an alternative energy or fuel source, and renewable energy or fuel generation.
Description: Methods to estimate changes in water use as a result of a change in agricultural irrigation; efficiency measures in residential, commercial, or institutional facilities; green infrastructure intended for water capture and infiltration; and tree or vegetation planting requiring more irrigation.
Methodology: Water Savings Co-benefit Assessment Methodology
Literature: Literature Review on Water Savings
Soil Health and Conservation
Description: Methods to estimate the acres of: agricultural land on which specific soil health practices are implemented; natural or agricultural land that is conserved or otherwise protected; natural or agricultural land that is converted for development; and agricultural land on which compost produced by a project could be applied.
Description: Methods to qualitatively assess changes in resiliency and vulnerability to the effects of climate change, including extreme heat, drought, sea level rise and inland flooding, agricultural productivity, species habitat, and wildfire.
Methodology: Climate Adaptation Co-benefit Assessment Methodology
Literature: Literature Review on Climate Adaptation
Description: Methods to qualitatively assess the level of community engagement in planning, design, and implementation of community scale projects.
Literature: Literature Review on Community Engagement
Heart and Lung Health
Description: Methods to estimate expected changes in the incidence of premature cardiopulmonary mortality, hospitalizations for cardiovascular and respiratory illness, and emergency room visits for respiratory illness and asthma as a result of changes in emissions of criteria and toxic air pollutants.
As described in the literature review, this co-benefit was deemed not appropriate for assessment with research available at this time due to the challenge of attributing displacement to a project as opposed to larger factors and trends.
Literature: Literature Review on Anti-displacement
Accelerated Implementation of Technology
As described in the literature review, this co-benefit was deemed not appropriate for assessment with research available at this time due to the challenge of identifying the fate of technologies in the absence of a project.