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Reforming California’s Cap and Trade Program Policy Brief

Analysis and Recommendations

Sacramento River. Photo via Canva.

Executive Summary and Key Recommendations The California Cap and Trade Program plays a pivotal role in the state’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A review of the program ahead of the upcoming 2025 compliance period has opened a critical window of opportunity to address and correct the program’s recognized shortcomings. In this policy brief, … Read more

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Building Decarbonization Policy Brief

Financing a Climate-Safe Future: Low- and Moderate-Income Residential Building Decarbonization

Decarbonizing existing residential buildings is critical to meeting California’s climate goals. Buildings in California are responsible for almost 44 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, or 25 percent of the state’s climate pollution. Recent research shows that, to keep pace with the latest climate science and stay below 1.5 degrees Celsius of … Read more

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Hydrogen Policy Brief

Guidance for policymakers on the production, delivery, and applications of renewable energy-based electrolytic hydrogen

The IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report states that 100 percent renewable energy systems will likely need to include hydrogen. However, the hydrogen debate — based on efficiency costs, climate pollution, health and safety, and environmental impacts — is complex and has ebbed and flowed over the past several decades. The reality is that hydrogen is neither … Read more

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Carbon Capture and Storage Policy Brief

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)

Limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, as outlined in the Paris Agreement, requires both cutting emissions by at least 45 percent by 2030 and removing past carbon pollution from the atmosphere. The use of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology is increasingly under discussion among policymakers as one of multiple potential tools for cutting carbon pollution. … Read more

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Setting an Ambitious Sequestration Goal for California’s Working Lands

Analysis and Recommendations for Net-Negative Emissions by 2030

Sheep grazing agriculture working lands sequestration

Every scenario in which we limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, as outlined in the Paris agreement, involves dramatically cutting emissions and removing carbon from the atmosphere. Rather than rely on unproven technologies like carbon capture and storage (CCS) that prolong fossil fuel reliance and pollution, California can look to its millions of acres of cropland, … Read more

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Should California Support Forest-Sourced Bioenergy?

Considerations for Wildfire, Climate, and Environmental Justice

Bioenergy has become a contentious issue within the environmental community. In California, one of the most pressing issues is how to manage and dispose of biomass from sustainable forestry practices. The state plans to dramatically scale up its forest management activities as part of its wildfire mitigation plan. At present, most of the biomass emerging … Read more

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San Francisco Bay Area Greenhouse Gas Emission Trends for 2014 – 2019

San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge

The San Francisco Bay area is home to almost 8 million Californians. The region consists of rural, urban, industrial, and suburban areas that represent a wide cross-section of California. The Climate Center conducted a report to determine greenhouse gas trends in the region in order to help policymakers determine challenges and opportunities for reducing emissions … Read more

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Jobs and Climate Action in California

History, Resources, and Opportunities

Hybrid solar/wind system, 2400W windturbines, 4000W solar modules, island Zirje, Croatia by Nenad Kajić / Veneko.hr

As California responds to the climate crisis, new industries will grow and others will shrink. Research shows that hundreds of thousands of permanent jobs will be created by working towards state climate stabilization targets. At the same time, jobs in legacy industries — oil, gas, and refineries, for example — are likely to decline. Ensuring … Read more