SACRAMENTO, January 11, 2023 — Facing a projected overall budget deficit of $22.5 billion, Governor Gavin Newsom announced yesterday $6 billion in proposed cuts to climate and energy programs in the state’s 2023-2024 budget. If approved by the legislature in May, that would bring California’s multi-year climate spending down to $48 billion, an 11 percent cut to investments in a climate-safe future.
In response, The Climate Center CEO Ellie Cohen said:
“The entire state of California is experiencing a deadly climate disaster right now. This is no time to be walking back investments in a climate-safe future. Governor Newsom and his administration have a choice — hold the line on critical climate investments today or pay the price in lives and dollars for years to come.
“We are particularly disappointed to see $1.1 billion in cuts to programs that would accelerate California’s transition to clean, electric vehicles. Not only is transportation the number one source of climate pollution in the state, but California’s growing fleet of electric cars, trucks, and buses should be one of our greatest assets in improving the reliability of our electrical grid. Investing in vehicle-grid integration technologies today will unlock the potential to use batteries in electric vehicles to back up our homes and businesses when the grid goes down.
“Furthermore, we’re dismayed to see some of the largest cuts being made to nature-based carbon sequestration initiatives. With the passage of AB 1757 last year, California is poised to become a world leader in solutions that both remove carbon from the atmosphere and build resilience to extreme weather like we’re experiencing right now. Slashing the funding for everything from urban greening to compost application undercuts this important work just as it’s getting underway.”
Critical climate and energy-related budget cuts include:
- $1.1 billion cut from zero-emission vehicle programs
- $779 million cut from nature-based solutions initiatives, including:
- $100 million cut from urban greening programs
- $30 million cut from urban forestry programs
- $4.8 million cut from composting application programs
- $900 million in clean energy investments cut (offset by a $100 million allocation for SB 846, the Diablo Canyon extension bill), with another $370 million being delayed until future years. This includes:
- $270 million cut from programs supporting residential solar and storage
- $87 million in funding cut from building decarbonization programs
- $735 million cut from extreme heat and community resilience programs (offset by a $250 million allocation from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund)
In December, The Climate Center sent Governor Newsom and state leaders a letter outlining recommendations to ensure state investments in zero-emission vehicles also support grid reliability.
Contact: Ryan Schleeter, Communications Director, The Climate Center: firstname.lastname@example.org, (415) 342-2386
About The Climate Center:
The Climate Center is a climate and energy policy nonprofit working to rapidly reduce climate pollution at scale, starting in California. We are a think-tank, do-tank working to turn bold ideas into action for a climate-safe future. Our flagship Climate-Safe California campaign is a unique and comprehensive effort to make California the first state in the nation to reach carbon negative. www.theclimatecenter.org