Climate & Energy

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

Plugging Away, our most recent publication in the Climate Change & Business series
Plugging Away (June 2017), our most recent publication in the Climate Change & Business series


Our flagship climate program, the Climate Change & Business Research Initiative, effectively engages business, nonprofit and government leaders in a collaborative project to achieve economic and environmental benefits from California’s climate policies and program. Our 17 reports in this series, spanning seven different sectors of the economy, are hosted here and at


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.



March 2018

Delivering the Goods: How California Can Create the Sustainable Freight System of the Future


California’s freight system is responsible for 1/3 of statewide jobs, as well as a major source of both greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution in the state. New innovations in technology and infrastructure have the potential to improve efficiency and reduce pollution, but policy and industry support will be essential to achieve California’s environmental goals. Our report identifies an expansive group of new freight transportation technologies and infrastructure developments and the policy innovations needed to make them reality in California. 


February 2018

Beyond the Beltway: A Report on State Energy and Climate Policies


Federal policy receives the bulk of the nation’s attention to energy and climate matters, from President Obama’s Clean Power Plan to President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. But much of our nation’s energy and climate policy is made by governors, state legislatures and agencies across the country. Providing insight into the range of factors – political, geographical, economic and more – that determine the immensely varied state energy and climate policies across the nation, Beyond the Beltway is an analysis of the state and regional efforts driving the nation’s energy and climate outlook.


August 2017

The Net Economic Impacts of California’s Major Climate Programs in the Inland Empire



Following the state legislature’s landmark approval extending California’s cap-and-trade program through 2030 by a supermajority vote, CLEE and its research partners have completed the first comprehensive, academic study of the economic effects of existing climate and clean energy policies in Southern California’s Inland Empire. We estimated a net economic of benefit of $9.1 billion and 41,000 new jobs created from 2010 to 2016 in the region. The study examines three key California climate and clean energy policies and their effects on Riverside and San Bernardino counties: 1) cap and trade; 2) the renewables portfolio standard (RPS), and 3) energy efficiency programs.

January 2017

The Economic Impacts of California’s Major Climate Programs on the San Joaquin Valley



Amid concerns about the economic and employment impacts of California’s ambitious climate policies, CLEE and its research partners are pleased to release 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.


May 2016

Securing Environmental Benefits form Solid Waste Energy Recovery


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.


May 2016

Mapping Lands to Avoid Conflict for Solar PV in the San Joaquin Valley



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. 


December 2015

Climate Actions for California: Recommendations for Governor Jerry Brown’s Final Term


Climate Actions_CoverCalifornia 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.

August 2014

Addressing Climate Change without Legislationdoi-report-thumbnail


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.