Nearly $1B in 2022 California Climate Investments funding to support communities impacted most by pollution, climate change

SACRAMENTO — California today [Apr. 17, 2023] released its annual report for California Climate Investments, which highlights that 74% of investments from 2022 almost $1 billion supported communities and households facing greater economic and environmental challenges. The statewide California Climate Investments initiative is a critical component of the state’s transition to a carbon neutral, more equitable future.

In 2022 alone, California Climate Investments implemented nearly 19,500 new projects through $1.3 billion in funding, with $933 million directly benefiting disadvantaged communities and low‑income communities and households, collectively referred to as “priority populations.” California Climate Investments are funded by Cap‑and‑Trade Program auction proceeds deposited into the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.

To date, California Climate Investments programs are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 97.1 MMTCO2e. California Climate Investments projects have so far:

  • Funded the planting of more than 20 million trees in urban and wildland areas.
  • Conserved or restored more than 891,000 acres of land.
  • Funded 10,300 affordable housing units.
  • Implemented 1,060 projects expanding or creating new transit services.
  • Supported employment opportunities with over 21,300 full-time equivalent jobs.
  • Issued more than 427,500 rebates for zero‑emission or plug‑in hybrid vehicles.

“California continues to put our cap-and-trade dollars to work through unprecedented investments in zero-emission infrastructure, housing, conservation, and more,” said Yana Garcia, California’s Secretary for Environmental Protection. “The majority of these funds benefit communities disproportionately burdened by pollution and experiencing the impacts of persistent economic inequity. In 2022 alone, we invested nearly $1 billion in under resourced communities to help ensure an equitable transition to carbon neutrality, and to leveraging improved health outcomes in communities suffering from air pollution and other climate impacts.”

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) administers the California Climate Investment program, which puts cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health — particularly among communities and households facing greater economic and environmental challenges.

“All Californians deserve to live in healthy communities with clean air, yet the worst impacts of pollution and climate change disproportionately affect low-income communities and people of color,” said CARB Chair Liane Randolph. “This year’s report highlights how our climate investments are cleaning the air, spurring innovation, creating jobs and advancing environmental justice.”

In 2022, the California High-Speed Rail Authority expended $1.3 billion in Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund dollars toward ongoing implementation of the nation’s first high-speed rail project.

Projects implemented in 2022 are expected to reduce 10.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) over project lifetimes, with large investments in natural and working lands and transit driving most of the expected reductions. Other investments are helping to reduce air pollution, improve public health and support the state’s housing goals, all while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The recently released “2023 Annual Report to the Legislature on California Climate Investments Using Cap‑and‑Trade Auction Proceedsdetails how funds have been spent and the benefits projects are generating in the state. The report is a key resource for tracking the progress of California Climate Investments.

Since 2014, more than $9.3 billion has gone to support programs across the state as part of California Climate Investments, in addition to $4.3 billion in expenditures by the California High-Speed Rail Authority,  for a total of $13.6 billion in support of California’s low-carbon future.

Cumulatively, implemented projects are expected to reduce criteria air pollutants by over 82,700 tons over project lifetimes, contributing to 372 avoided emergency room visits for respiratory illness and asthma.

Cumulative Project Achievements - As of November 2022 $9.3 billion implemented through November 2022 97.1 MMTCO2e estimated GHG emissions reductions 577,800 individual projects implemented 10,399 affordable housing units under contract 201,125 urban trees $6.7 billion+ (73%) benefiting priority populations 1,069 transit agency projects funded, adding or expanding transit service 427,470+ rebates issued for zero-emission and plug-in hybrid vehicles 891,000 acres of land conservation or restoration

Along with the report, the California Air Resources Board also released Legislative District Fact Sheets, and updates to the Project Map, interactive Story Map and Data Dashboard. New Project Profiles also highlight narrative stories for individual projects.

* “California Climate Investments reports nearly $1 billion in funding in 2022 to support communities facing the worst impacts of pollution, climate change,” Apr. 17, 2023 CalEPA Air Resources Board press release.

Last updated on Apr. 27, 2023 at 7:52 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time.

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