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California Investing In 'Transformative Climate Communities'

The California Strategic Growth Council has $140 million in cap-and-trade revenue for the new Transformative Climate Community program. The aim of the program is to catalyze environmental and economic investment in disadvantaged communities.
March 5, 2017, 11am PST | rzelen | @rzelen
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Andrei Stanescu

Addressing equity, climate change, and environmental health has been a high priority for both California Governor Jerry Brown and the California State Legislature. In 2016, these priorities coalesced around Assembly Bill 2722 (authored by Asm. Autumn Burke) which enacted the Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) Program under the California Strategic Growth Council.

Now, in an exclusive interview with The Planning Report, California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) Executive Director Randall Winston outlined his organization’s aims and goals in funding catalytic projects in targeted disadvantaged communities. The SGC is using data from CalEnviroScreen to determine environmental pollution and economic inequities.

SGC is investing $140 million of cap-and-trade revenue to fund projects in Fresno, Los Angeles, and a third location to be determined. They are also administering $1.5 million planning grants, which will help local governments and public-private partnerships build capacity for further investment and grant funding opportunities.

As part of the Transformative Climate Communities, the community can decide which greenhouse gas reduction methods suit it best, and combine them accordingly. The projects need to be community-led and reflect the environmental and economic needs of the neighborhood.As Winston elaborates,

“The Transformative Climate Communities program is fundamentally different. We are using a place-based framework, looking at how we can think about energy, waste, water, job creation, and public health in a more integrated fashion. We hope to bring a holistic view to both achieve our climate goals and uplift these environmentally and economically burdened communities.”

The projects are looking to maximize philanthropic and private-sector dollars, and addressing workforce training and economic development as a component of the program. Additionally, the evaluation metrics for the program are also different, as the SGC is assessing a host of indicators of a community’s health and sustainability over time.

Read more in The Planning Report

Full Story:
Published on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 in The Planning Report
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