What benefits can we expect in reducing fossil fuel use?
While we do not have Sonoma County projections regarding expected economic and job creation benefits of greenhouse gas emission reductions, we can refer to statewide projections and studies that should mirror the gains we could expect in Sonoma County.
The AB 32 Proposed Scoping Plan summarized a number of economic benefits of reducing GHGs, including:
- Increased economic production of $33 billion
- Increased overall gross state product of $7 billion
- Increased overall personal income by $16 billion
- Increased per capita income of $200
- Savings in energy costs of $400 to $500 per household annually
- Savings for consumers from California’s existing clean car standards of over $12 billion
A UC Berkeley report released in October 2008 “Energy Efficiency, Innovation, and Job Creation in California,” projects more substantial benefits. Based on historical data and computer modeling, it finds that an energy efficiency improvement of just 1 percent per year will lead to an increase in the Gross State Product of approximately $76 billion.
Investment Opportunities and Job Creation
According to the AB 32 Proposed Scoping Plan, “Addressing climate change also provides a strong incentive for investment in California. Our leadership in environmental and energy efficiency policy has already helped attract a large and growing share of the nation’s venture capital investment in green technologies. Since AB 32 was signed into law, venture capital investment in California has skyrocketed. In the second quarter of 2008 alone, California dominated world investment in clean technology venture capital, receiving $800 million of the global total of $2 billion.”