California Climate Action

California is a global pioneer when it comes to addressing climate change. The state is at the forefront of efforts to decarbonize its advanced economy in all sectors. Our program has worked closely with state and local leaders to assess these programs and recommend promising solutions. These efforts include a collaborative effort with the UC Berkeley Labor Center and Next 10 to assess the economic impacts of California’s climate policies in key geographic areas in the state, an assessment of priority policy recommendations for Governor Jerry Brown’s final term, and a California Climate Policy Dashboard that details the suite of California’s approach to climate change policy.


California Climate Policy Dashboard

Our California Climate Policy Dashboard provides a concise, easy-to-use overview of some of the major California climate laws and programs and introduce readers to some of the state regulators responsible for implementing them. Readers can find detailed information on these efforts by following links to full statutory text, agencies’ program pages, and CLEE reports on these laws and programs. By compiling and regularly updating information on certain key state policies and actors, we hope to provide straightforward access to the full scope of California’s ambitious climate change programs and goals.


November 2018

Priority Policy Solutions for California’s Next Governor

Climate change will exacerbate the droughts, floods, and wildfires that Californians already regularly experience, making them even more extreme and unpredictable. Gavin Newsom, California’s next governor, must prepare for these inevitable disasters while minimizing the greenhouse gas emissions of a society of nearly 40 million people.

CLEE, together with Resources Legacy Fund (RLF), has prepared three sets of actions Governor-Elect Gavin Newsom could take immediately to address wildfire; drought, flood, and drinking water safety and affordability; and the stubbornly high carbon pollution from our transportation systems.

September 2018

Trial by Fire: Managing Climate Risks Facing Insurers in the Golden State

Climate change presents unprecedented risks to the insurance industry, from increased wildfires and storm events to potential litigation and economic transitions. The industry faces these dynamic challenges at the same time that insurance products are becoming more necessary but less available and affordable.

Our new report, Trial by Fire, documents the nature and extent of the risks faced by insurers and residents in California and offers a range of recommendations to protect the industry and the entire state in a changing climate.

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 our research partners completed the first comprehensive, academic study of the economic effects of existing climate and clean energy policies in Southern California’s Inland Empire. The study estimated a net benefit of $9.1 billion in direct economic activity and a net gain of 41,000 jobs in the region. The study focused on San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, which both face unique economic and air-quality challenges.

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 our research partners have conducted the first comprehensive, academic study of the costs and benefits of these policies on the San Joaquin Valley. We found a total economic benefit of $13.4 billion in the Valley including the creation of tens of thousands of jobs. We focused on the eight-county Valley region due to its bellwether status and significant economic and environmental challenges. Our study addresses compliance and investment costs as well as benefits across the 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.

September 2010

California at the Crossroads: Proposition 23, AB 32, and Climate Change

Proposition 23, an initiative that appeared on California’s November 2010 general election ballot, would have suspended the implementation and operation of California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, better known as AB 32, until state unemployment rates remained at or below 5.5 percent for four consecutive quarters. That level has been reached three times since the state began compiling these statistics in 1976. This white paper evaluated the initiative backers’ claims and sought to provide an independent, objective analysis of the legal and economic consequences of Proposition 23 and rolling back California climate change goals.