For many communities, the links between air quality, climate change, and energy production are clear and direct. We recognize that we need policies and alternatives that address these links. To effectively curb climate change and protect communities from its worst impacts, we need to take action across sectors and implement policies which not only reduce emissions, but also focus on improving air quality, deploying clean and renewable energies, and building community supports and infrastructure for resilient and adaptable societies.
In California there are a number of climate-focused bills currently in play. PSR-LA engages in the watchdogging and implementation of the following suite of bills, working to ensure that legislative and regulatory steps taken to meet California’s emissions targets are enforced, equitable, and health-centric. We work within coalitions and alongside non-profit, environmental, and community organizations in order to impact policy decisions at the state and regional level. As a part of this work. PSR-LA organizes education and advocacy opportunities for our members surrounding climate issues and legislation, including legislative visits, webinars, and lobby days.
Major Climate Legislation:
AB 32/SB 32: The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006
AB 32 is California’s landmark legislation that set a statewide limit (to reduce GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020) on greenhouse gas emissions from all sources. SB 32 amends the AB 32 greenhouse gas emission limit to 80% below the 1990 level, to be met by 2050, and authorizes the Air Resources Board to make greenhouse gas emission limit targets for 2030 and 2040.
PSR-LA is committed to ensuring strong health and environmental justice considerations in the ongoing implementation of AB 32.
SB 375: Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008
SB 375 aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from passenger vehicles by working to coordinate transportation and use planning efforts at the regional level, aiming to build more sustainable communities.
PSR-LA participated in the development of the Southern California Association of Government’s Sustainable Community Strategy – SB 375’s required element of the Regional Transportation Plan – which combines land use and transportation strategies in order to meet the passenger vehicle emissions reductions targets set forth by the California Air Resources Board. PSR-LA worked with SCAG’s public health committee and provided comments on the RTP.
SB 535 California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006: Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund
SB 535 requires that 25% of the funding from the cap-and-trade program created under AB 32 is spent on projects that benefit disadvantaged communities. Furthermore, at least 10% of the profits from the cap-and trade program must be invested directly into Environmental Justice communities.
PSR-LA believes that AB 32 and its cap-and-trade program must focus more heavily on gaining direct emissions reductions that also bring significant improvements to public health and increase economic opportunities. We advocate for a more robust real-time and ongoing assessment of the impacts of the State’s climate programs on environmental justice communities.
PSR-LA is working to connect community organizations to the SB 535 process in order to ensure that there is strong health, equity, and community participation in the allocation process of funds from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. Our work surrounding 350 primarily occurs within South Los Angeles Building Healthy Communities, an initiative of the California Endowment, and the Alliance for Community Transit-Los Angeles.
SB 350: The Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015
SB 350 sets new standards for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and petroleum use in California. The bill specifically calls for an increase in the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to 50% by 2030, a decrease in California’s petroleum use by 50% by 2030, and a 50% increase in energy efficiency in buildings by 2030.
SB 605: Short-Lived Climate Pollutants
SB 605 requires the California Air Resources Board to develop a strategy to reduce state emissions of short-lived climate pollutants. PSR-LA is watchdogging the implementation of this bill, which called for the production of a report on the inventories of SLCPs, which is expected to be released in January 2016.