The latest California Cap and Trade Annual Report published by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) puts a spotlight on how the money raised by the program has been put to use to combat climate change around the state. This year, the report also includes an interactive map that shows exactly where the various programs are being implemented.
California Cap and Trade funds are doled out to projects throughout the state by California Climate Investments, which awarded more than $500 million in new funding in 2016, with projects in 57 of California’s 58 counties. California climate change champion Mary Nichols said of the program, “the investment of cap-and-trade proceeds is reaching every corner of the State, cutting greenhouse gases and improving air quality – and quality of life – for millions of Californians, especially in the state’s hardest hit communities.”
Bias Towards Effecting Change in Disadvantaged Communities
Program funds are allocated to efforts that will directly impact climate change efforts with a bias towards effecting change in disadvantaged communities. This is by design, as SB 535 mandates that at least 25% of investments go to projects that benefit disadvantaged communities. Last year, 50% of investments were made in disadvantaged communities, far exceeding this requirement.
The following programs are just a few examples of projects geared towards disadvantaged communities:
- The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District has a program that helps low-income residents replace older vehicles with higher emissions with hybrid or electric vehicles.
- A San Bernardino County project will plant 1,000 trees in and around disadvantaged communities, which not only eats away at area pollution but also hedges against the Urban Heat Island effect, cooling surrounding areas while providing much needed shade to local residents.
- The Port of Los Angeles will be the world’s first shipping terminal to procure 100% of its energy needs from renewables, which will improve air quality in the extremely industrial city of Wilmington, one of the state’s most disadvantaged communities.
In total, the state has appropriated $3.4 billion to 12 state agencies, with $1.2 billion already having been distributed to projects at various stages of execution.
Another such program is run by CalRecycle, an agency dedicated to managing waste disposal and recycling in the State of California, which announced this week that it will be joining the CFCC Funding Fair for local governments. The fair is a joint effort between 6 different agencies and aims to help local government officials understand how they can tap into funding offered by each agency, including Cap and Trade funds available through Cal Recycle.
CalRecycle is specifically working to drive reductions in landfill emissions by funneling wastes into categories that enable beneficial reuse, like composting and recycling.
Source: ARB via CA Climate Investments on Twitter