Climate Equity & Environmental Justice
Though we all contribute to poor air quality, the impact is not shared equally. Disadvantaged communities throughout the State have faced the brunt of poor air quality for years and now face the added burden of being some of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The Coalition for Clean Air and our partners on the SB 535 Coalition have been working to ensure that investments of climate change dollars go first and foremost to these communities.
SB 535 Implementation
As original sponsors of SB 535 (De León), which ultimately passed in 2012 after 5 years of campaigning, we have been taking an active role in the implementation of this historic law, which requires some of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) dollars (derived from the auctioning off of pollution allowances under AB 32) to flow to disadvantaged communities to reduce pollution and provide services and jobs. California now has an unprecedented opportunity to invest hundreds of millions of dollars annually in emissions-reducing programs in low-income communities of color that suffer the worst impacts of pollution, yet have the least resources with which to mitigate it. Successful implementation of SB 535 will deliver tangible benefits from the GGRF to underserved communities and build support for California’s climate policies. CCA is joined in leading the advocacy for SB 535 implementation by The Greenlining Institute, Asian Pacific Environmental Network and Public Advocates, in a remarkably cohesive and effective coalition we call “the Quad.” We work together to ensure that the GGRF is successfully invested in accord with its original environmental justice intent. Because California did not have a pre-existing framework for determining how to make climate investments in disadvantaged communities, our engagement is crucial to ensuring that disadvantaged communities receive direct, meaningful and assured benefits.