Are California’s GHG Reduction Programs Fair to Disadvantaged Communities?
February 9, 2017
How have California’s programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions impacted disadvantaged communities? It’s an interesting question, with no clear cut answer, according to a recently released report.
The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), within the California Environmental Protection Agency, recently released a new report on the impacts of climate change programs on disadvantaged communities. In the decade since the passage of AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, the state has implemented many measures to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Governor Brown requested a report on how these efforts have impacted disadvantaged communities; the recent report concludes that there is not sufficient data to make a definitive determination on this issue. The report does make the following findings (see pages ix to x):
- A disproportionate number of facilities subject to the Cap-and-Trade Program are located disadvantaged communities.
- There were moderate correlations between GHG emissions and the emissions of criteria air pollutants.
- In a more detailed case study analysis of some specific plants and refineries, there were differences in the relationships between GHGs, toxicity, and other emissions.
- These results indicate that the relationship between GHGs and other pollutant emissions is complex.
This report is part of an ongoing suite of reports and studies meant to address and measure the impacts of GHGs and climate change. CSAC will continue to report on findings.