California is the leading sub-national government in the world in climate solution investments.
Using Cap and Trade revenues and other resources, California climate spending includes research and development, financial incentives and direct deployment of renewable energy, advanced transportation, efficiency, emission reductions, and land use and building practices.
Two websites have emerged in recent weeks to track California climate investments.
The state of California has put together a robust new website (link here) that brings together information on a dozen different climate and energy programs into a single searchable application, allowing users to view the locations of individual projects and providing a summary of climate and energy investments for each of the state’s 120 legislative districts. Currently, the site is tracking nearly $6 billion in climate-related investments, including programs in agriculture, energy, transportation, natural resources, sustainable communities and waste reduction. The site will continue to add data on additional programs.
The Climate Investment Map illustrates the growing investments from these programs at the local and regional level. Initially, the site is prioritizing for inclusion climate and energy programs with the largest budgets and readily accessible data. Among the programs included are the following:
- California Solar Initiative – Overseen by the California Public Utilities Commission, the initiative provides incentives for solar systems installations to customers of the state’s investor-owned utilities.
- The California Clean Energy Jobs Act (Proposition 39) – Administered by the California Energy Commission, Prop 39 provides funding to local schools to improve energy efficiency and create clean-energy jobs.
- Clean Vehicle Rebate Project – Administered by the Air Resources Board, the program is designed to promote the purchase of zero-emission vehicles.
“This data will help local and state leaders as well as all Californians see where the state’s climate investments are located,” said California Energy Commission Chair Robert B. Weisenmiller. “The data will help us evaluate the effectiveness of our efforts as these investments are critical to meet California’s greenhouse gas reduction targets.”
The website will be continually updated with new programs, with a particular focus on those recently funded with proceeds from California’s cap-and-trade program. The site will also incorporate other ways of viewing the data geographically – including by city and county, by census tracts and other boundaries.
Transform is aggregating data from various state agencies into an interactive map (link here) showing climate related investments in sustainable communities, energy, transportation, resources and waste.
|Source: Climate Benefits for California|
The data is searchable by program, geography, year and can be restricted to projects benefitting disadvantaged communities.
According to Ryan Wiggins of Transform, “One of our primary goals in creating ClimateBenefitsCA.org is to give people an easy way to understand the positive impact of climate investments in their legislative districts, county, region, and the state as a whole.”
Like the California state map, the Climate Benefits map and related tools will be regularly updated.
(for more on California climate change issues, see my Climate Dispatch blog at http://climatedispatch.blogspot.com)
(This article originally appeared on California Green Finance. It has been reprinted here with permission.)