New climate policy in California can offer positive benefits to vulnerable communities if policy makers consider their needs while drafting the law, according to a report issued by faculty at three California universities recently.
The report, funded by a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and written by professors at the University of California, Berkeley, University of Southern California and Occidental College in Los Angeles, suggests the state could cut harmful pollutants along with greenhouse gas emissions by doing some of the following:
– Require the plants that release the most greenhouse gases and other pollutants to cut their carbon emissions at that location.
– Limit trading of so-called carbon credits within certain dirty-air zones and neighborhoods.
– Impose a higher price for carbon credits in highly polluted neighborhoods so industries located there have more incentive to cut emissions.
– Give neighborhoods with the dirtiest air or significant socio-economic problems a share of the money generated from carbon fees. In turn, that money could be used to reduce air pollution even further, the report says.
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