After United Nations agreement in Paris, California looks at its climate investment plan

February 3, 2016

Sacramento - California stands to benefit from the recent United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change agreement reached in Paris, state senators said today during a hearing on the state’s cap and trade climate investments.

“Thinking Globally, Acting Locally:  The Paris Climate Accord and What it Means for California’s Climate Investments” was a joint hearing of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee and the Select Committee on Climate Change.  It included three senators who represented the California State Senate at various panels and events in Paris – Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles), Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) and Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills).

“California has a long history of being a leader on environmental legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Wieckowski, chair of the Environmental Quality Committee.  “Now that 195 nations have agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change, many will be looking to our state and our clean energy businesses to help them accomplish their goals.  We can all benefit by collaborating and sharing information on proven strategies to reduce our carbon output and shift to more sustainable, clean-energy sources.  Through the state’s climate investments we can continue to lead the way on emission reductions, energy efficiency and environmental justice issues.”

De Leon said the Paris agreement isn’t perfect, but sets the stage to build a clean energy future and grow our economy.

“Now, the truly difficult work begins and international leaders will be looking closely at California’s model,” De Leon said.  “Thanks to our commitments and investments here in California, we are poised to reap a lion’s share of that new clean-energy market.”

The committees heard testimony from Matt Rodriguez, secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, representatives from the Department of Finance and the Legislative Analyst’s Office, and industry and environmental stakeholders.

The state’s second climate investment plan was submitted to the Legislature last month by the Department of Finance.  It targets broad categories for investments from cap and trade auction revenue.  It identifies both ongoing and new opportunities for GHG emission reductions, for the current budget year as well as a three-year period from 2016-2018.  It includes an emphasis on supporting disadvantage communities, water quality and supply, climate resilience, habitat protection and public health.

Senator Wieckowski’s 10th District includes southern Alameda County and northeast Santa Clara County.