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Testimony: Save California’s clean air safety net

People protest before a public meeting of South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) Hearing Board.

On February 29, 2024, the California Senate Budget Subcommittee on Resources, Environmental Protection, and Energy met to hear from experts and the public on the proposed 2024-2025 state budget. Facing a projected $73 billion budget deficit, Governor Newsom has proposed billions in potential cuts to climate and energy investments. If approved by the legislature, the … Read more

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Passing 1.5 degrees Celsius and what you can do about it

Last weekend’s storm that knocked out power for 800,000 Californians drove home what climate extremes mean in real life. The storm was yet another record-breaker after a year of climate disruptions that shocked scientists — from record-high temperature averages in 77 countries to severe floods in China, Greece, India, Libya, New Zealand, and the United … Read more

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Soaring utility bills slam working-class Californians

Californians recently got slapped with yet another electricity rate hike. PG&E is blaming the hike on the cost of burying 1,200 miles of power lines to prevent wildfires. California has some of the highest energy costs in the country and electricity rates here have nearly doubled over the past decade, with almost one-third of California … Read more

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What We Learned at COP28: California Can and Must Do More on Climate

The Climate Center's Marc Victoria, Baani Behniwal, and Barry Vesser at COP28

Last November, The Climate Center’s Barry Vesser, Baani Behniwal, and Marc Victoria traveled to Dubai, United Arab Emirates for COP28 — the UN’s annual climate conference — to help coordinate the California delegation. With a record attendance of 84,000 people from 193 countries, this COP was massive. You may be wondering why The Climate Center, … Read more

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Upcoming community energy resilience funding opportunities

The Community Energy Resilience team at The Climate Center is supporting community-based organizations (CBOs) applying for funds to strengthen their community’s resilience to blackouts and extreme weather. In 2023, both California and the federal government released many funding opportunities to help advance community resilience, including those outlined in my September 2023 blog. In 2024, we … Read more

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Batteries are booming

Person charging EV

Batteries that store clean energy to power both buildings and vehicles are rapidly changing the energy landscape. In the first half of 2023, 68 gas-fired power plant projects were put on hold or canceled because they are simply no longer needed —  giant batteries that store solar and wind energy are now cheaper to build … Read more

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Climate, equity, and gas prices in California

Gas prices have been surging over the past two months across California, with average prices of about $1.20 more per gallon than the rest of the country. About $0.35 of that cannot be explained by taxes or other fees — but it could be explained by market manipulation. Just five corporations control over 90 percent … Read more

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Resources for communities seeking energy resilience

Picture this: a trusted space in your neighborhood with a community garden, access to childcare, air conditioning, and power that is not interrupted when a disaster strikes. As disasters become more frequent and severe due to climate change, neighborhoods need new tools to build their resilience, especially low-income and disadvantaged neighborhoods most impacted by climate … Read more

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For the first time, United Nations report calls for phasing out fossil fuels

People's Climate March in New York City. Photo by @5byseven.

On September 8, 2023, the United Nations released its first “stocktake” report on progress toward the goals of the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Those goals are to stay below 2 degrees Celsius of warming and strive to stay below 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming above pre-industrial levels.  The report states: “The first [stocktake] is taking … Read more

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Memo from The Climate Center to Governor Newsom: ‘You can lead’

California Flag

On July 31, 2023, The Climate Center CEO Ellie Cohen sent a memo to Governor Gavin Newsom encouraging him to pursue accelerated, equitable climate action. The memo outlines seven high-priority policy actions the governor can take right now to reduce pollution, create new jobs, and save lives. The following is an excerpt from the memo … Read more