CCA Focus Areas
CLIMATE INVESTMENTS AND EQUITY: SB 535, AB 1550 and AB 617
California is a global leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants which affect human health. Yet, many of California’s communities are among the most vulnerable, environmentally burdened areas in the nation. As original sponsors of both SB 535 (De León, 2012) and AB 1550 (Gomez, 2016), we have long been and remain committed to ensuring California’s Climate Investments benefit our most disadvantaged communities.
Due to our efforts, along with those of our California Climate Equity Coalition partners at The Greenlining Institute, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Public Advocates and SCOPE LA and many other advocates, hundreds of millions of dollars in emissions-reducing programs flow to disadvantaged communities. Under SB 535 and AB 1550, at least 35% of funds from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) must be spent either directly in or benefiting disadvantaged and low-income communities. However, we have successfully pushed California to spend even more funding in these communities – according to the California Air Resources Board, 57% of all GGRF funds is spent on projects benefiting these priority communities. These investments help reduce both climate and other air pollutants, as well provide much needed services and jobs to California’s most disadvantaged communities.
In addition to our ongoing Climate Investment work, CCA has also been a key advocate in the implementation of AB 617 (C. Garcia, 2017.) This law requires the California Air Resources Board and the local air districts to identify the most polluted communities in California and develop community-driven emissions monitoring and reduction plans. CCA has engaged at both the statewide and local air district level, providing high-level policy advocacy in Sacramento and actively participating in all three Year 1 Community Steering Committees within the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
SUSTAINABLE FREIGHT: California Cleaner Freight Coalition
Freight transportation is the single largest contributor to diesel particulate matter and nitrogen oxide emissions in California, and it disproportionately impacts low-income communities and communities of color. They suffer from higher rates of asthma, cancer and other illnesses. In 2012, CCA brought together a coalition of environmental justice, public health, science and mainstream environmental organizations for the purpose of creating transformational changes to the freight transportation system in California. This group is the California Cleaner Freight Coalition (CCFC). CCFC convinced the California Air Resources Board (ARB) to establish its Sustainable Freight Initiative. CCFC also published Moving California Forward, a technical report on greenhouse gas and air pollution emissions reduction opportunities from the freight sector. CCFC continues to work with the ARB and CalTrans to adopt far-reaching freight policies. CCFC is funded with grants from the Hewlett Foundation.
ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Charge Ahead California Campaign
The Charge Ahead California Coalition aims to place 1.5 million electric cars, trucks and buses on California’s roads by 2025. However, it’s important that all Californians, especially lower-income earners and households in disadvantaged communities benefit from zero-emissions technology. Transportation is the single largest source of greenhouse gas pollution in California, accounting for 41 percent of emissions. More concerning is the health of the nearly four in ten Californians who live close enough to a freeway or busy road to be at an increased risk of asthma, cancer and other health hazards. In Southern California alone, more than 1.2 million people live within 500 feet of a freeway.
Accelerating the replacement of gasoline cars and dirty diesel trucks and buses with zero emission vehicles is critical to cleaning up the air in our state. This is particularly important in communities disproportionately burdened by ai pollution. CCA is joined in leading Charge Ahead California by Communities for a Better Environment, Environment California, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and The Greenlining Institute.
Charge Ahead California was the sponsor of the SB 1275 (de Leόn, 2014) – the Charge Ahead California Initiative. This law will accelerate our state’s transition toward a clean economy and ensure California meets its ambitious electric vehicle goals by increasing access to clean transportation technologies in disadvantaged communities. SB 1275 and our ongoing advocacy efforts have secured funding for equity programs, such as EV car-sharing in disadvantaged communities and scrap-and-replace vouchers, enabling low and moderate-income drivers to trade in polluting vehicles for advanced clean cars.