California is re-evaluating cap and trade

by Rachel Becker, CalMatters


California has relied on its carbon cap and trade program to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the state. Many believe this policy is not strong enough to reduce emissions to 40% below 1990 levels and now the state must decide if it will reform the program.

  • California was the first in the United States to implement a cap and trade program and it is now one of the largest pollution markets in the world
  • In the past two years, the auctions of pollution permits gather $600 million per auction and the money is used for programs like EV rebates
  • Due to the unstable economy from the coronavirus pandemic, auction revenue is declining
  • Major polluters that purchase permits include oil refineries, power plants, transportation, and manufacturers
  • Polluters are not in favor of adjusting the cap and trade program, saying that it could increase the price of gas and consumer goods
  • Currently, the state is not on track to reach 2030 emissions targets and must reassess how to meet these goals

Using climate funding mechanisms, such as a carbon fee and dividend, we can effectively produce an additional $20 billion per year specifically for a climate-safe California while reinvesting back into our communities.

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Europe’s recovery plan has green strings attached

by Ewa Krukowska and Laura Millan Lombrana


  • The European Commission unveiled a 750 billion euro economic recovery plan that incorporates climate-neutrality goals that aim to accelerate clean transportation, energy savings, and renewable energy production
  • In order to access these funds, EU members must prove their investments are aligned with the Green Deal, Europe’s 2050 climate neutrality goal
  • The stimulus program will include 500 billion euros in grants and 250 billion euros in loans, while the cost of reaching 2030 climate goals will need 470 billion euros a year
  • Funds will be used to promote a just transition from the fossil fuel industry and supporting the agriculture industry as it tries to meet Green Deal goals

Funding climate action by financing mechanisms including frequent flyer fees, green bonds, and a carbon fee and dividend program, we can produce an additional $20+ billion per year specifically for climate action. This can pay for an urgently needed suite of bold policies for a climate-safe California.

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