CCA Focus Areas

CLIMATE INVESTMENTS: 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.

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 campaign aims to place one million electric cars, trucks and buses on California’s roads by 2023 to ensure that all Californians, especially lower- income households in communities most impacted by air pollution, benefit from these cleaner vehicles and zero tailpipe emissions. Transportation is the single largest source of greenhouse gas pollution in California, accounting for 38 percent of emissions. Four in ten Californians, more than in any other state, live close enough to a freeway or busy road that they may be at increased risk of asthma, cancer and other health hazards.[1]

Nearly twice as many Californians die from traffic pollution as from motor vehicle accidents.[2]

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, particularly in communities historically exposed to a disproportionate share of pollution. CCA is joined in leading this effort by Communities for a Better Environment, Environment California, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and The Greenlining Institute. CCA was one of the sponsors of The Charge Ahead California Initiative (SB 1275), which was authored by Senate President pro Tem Kevin de Leόn and signed by Governor Brown in September 2014. This law will accelerate our state’s transition toward a clean economy by securing the funding needed to ensure California is the first state in the nation with one million electric vehicles, and by increasing access to clean transportation in disadvantaged communities through the establishment of 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.


Tony Barboza, One-fifth os U.S. lives near roads with higher air pollution, study says, Los Angeles Times, October 2, 2013.


5,726 annual premature deaths in California due to PM 2.5 and 209 from ozone (Fabio Caiazzo et al., Air pollution and early deaths in the United States, Athmospheric Environment 2013) compared to 3,081 traffic fatalities (Selected Detail Within Leading Causes of Death by Sex and Race/Ethnic Group, California Deparment of Pubic Health.)