California and other jurisdictions around the country and world cannot meet their climate and energy goals without significant investment and innovation from the private sector. Our climate and energy initiatives provide policy guidance to increase business and finance involvement to meet these greenhouse gas emission reduction goals in a cost-effective and efficient manner.
Climate Change & Business Research Initiative
The Climate Change & Business Research Initiative is a collaborative effort with the Emmett Institute at the UCLA School of Law and is generously supported by Bank of America.
Amid concerns about the economic and employment impacts of California’s ambitious climate policies, CLEE and its research partners are pleased to release today the first comprehensive, academic study of the costs and benefits of these policies on the San Joaquin Valley. The bottom line: we found a total economic benefit of $13.4 billion in the Valley including the creation of tens of thousands of jobs. The study examines three key California climate and clean energy policies: 1) cap and trade; 2) the renewables portfolio standard (RPS), and 3) energy efficiency programs.
Californians send 30 million tons of waste to landfills annually. While reduction, recycling and composting can do their part, not all types of materials can be practically and economically recycled in an environmentally beneficial manner. This leftover trash stream may therefore present an opportunity to recover energy, using new and possibly cleaner technologies. However, California lacks an agreed-upon set of standards for measuring and balancing the life-cycle costs and benefits of various waste management methods, including energy conversion. This report recommends solutions for the state to address this challenge.
California’s push to achieve 50 percent of our electricity from renewable sources by 2030 will entail a significant deployment of large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) installations. But in places like the San Joaquin Valley, proposed installations have engendered conflicts with agricultural and conservation groups, who fear a resulting loss of valuable lands and the species and farming and ranching that depend on them. Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE) partnered with Conservation Biology Institute (CBI) and Terrell Watt Associates to develop a new process to find “least-conflict” lands in the eight-county San Joaquin Valley region.
California has made landmark progress reducing carbon emissions while growing the economy, but the state’s work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is just beginning. To reduce long-term emissions 80 percent over 1990 levels by 2050, the state will need both to build on existing programs and to address new areas that are key to decarbonizing the state’s economy, such as natural resources, water and land use. This 2015 report details steps that administration leaders, environmental and energy advocates, and other stakeholders could take to achieve additional short-term successes and create a foundation for long-term progress that endures beyond the administration.
This three volume series of reports analyzes steps that federal agencies can take to mitigate climate change under existing laws. A collaboration between CLEE and the Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute, this series details how the Department of the Interior (DOI), Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) can use their legal authority to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and expand clean energy use across the country.