2- Just transition
As we transition to a clean energy economy globally and in California, we must ensure that workers, their families, and their communities dependent on fossil fuel industries are not left behind. Nations all over the world are starting to address this key issue, foundational to our collective economic and social well-being.
To reach the climate targets necessary for an inhabitable world, well-trained workers will be essential. Significant workforce power will be required to achieve the pace and scale necessary to shift California away from fossil-based technologies. The state must work with employers, labor unions, and other interests to ensure comparable long-term jobs with transferable skills and workforce training for those currently working in the oil and gas sector while preserving healthcare and pension benefits.
3- Climate justice
Policymakers must prioritize and ensure support for lower-income, Black, Brown, Indigenous, and Asian communities to achieve these urgent decarbonization goals equitably and rapidly. The state must close the climate gap when enacting climate policies to ensure these communities are no longer disproportionately harmed by the health and economic consequences of fossil fuel development, production, and use.
Toxic oil and gas infrastructure – from freeways to oil rigs–are often sited in communities of color, dangerously close to homes, schools, and hospitals, primarily due to historic redlining and redevelopment. Constantly exposed to polluted air, they suffer from significantly lower life expectancy and higher rates of asthma, cancer, and other diseases than white people and those in wealthier neighborhoods.
Policymakers must also ensure that everyone can participate in the new clean energy economy with equitable access to climate-friendly solutions.
“[Climate-Safe California] is urgent and desperately needed. Also urgent is a just transition and safety net for those working in the fossil fuel industry. We must not leave people behind as seen in the coal industry.” –Carmen Ramirez, Supervisor, Ventura County; Former Mayor, Oxnard