California

California has long been a leader in climate policy. The state aims to achieve net-zero emissions and 100% clean energy by 2045.

Legislative Profile

Governor: Gavin Newsom (D)

House: 56 (D, supermajority) ǀ 19 (R) ǀ 1 (I)

Senate: 31 (D, supermajority) ǀ 9 (R)

U.S. Climate Alliance Member

Key Resources

Emissions Reduction Targets

By 2030:

40%

By 2045:

Net Zero

All targets relative to 1990 levels

2019 GHG Emissions By Sector (%)

  • Commercial
  • Electric
  • Residential
  • Industrial
  • Transportation
  • Agriculture
Source: EPA State Inventory Tool (SIT)

Use the + icons in each policy area below to explore climate policy that has been passed at the state level, with links to relevant legislation and trackers. Policies in gray have not yet been passed in this state.

Climate Governance & Equity

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Climate Governance

Greenhouse Gas Targets

Emissions Reduction Target

40% by 2030 | net-zero by 2045 Relative to 1990 levels

Mandate Source

Mandatory – SB-32 – Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (2016)

Climate Action Plan

2017 Climate Change Scoping Plan (2017)

Plan Status

Finalized

Climate Bureaucracy

Interagency Commissions/Task Forces

Climate Action Team

Non-Governmental Advisory Bodies

Independent Emissions Market Advisory Committee

State Climate Portal

California Air Resources Board Climate Change Portal

Lead by Example

ACEEE Score – 2 out of 2 points**

**The ACEEE Energy Efficiency Scorecard analyzes the policies and programs states adopt to save energy in public sector buildings and transportation fleets. States can earn up to 2 points.

Equity

Environmental Justice Community Designation

Mandate Source

SB 535 (2012)

Definition

“Disadvantaged communities” are defined as the top 25% scoring areas from CalEnviroScreen, which includes areas burdened by combinations of poverty, high unemployment, air and water pollution, presence of hazardous wastes, and/or high incidence of asthma and heart disease, as well as all Tribal lands.

Include race? No | Include income? Yes | Include pollution burden? Yes

State EJ Mapping Tools

EJ Community Benefit Requirement

AB 1550 (2016) – At least 25% to disadvantaged communities and 10% to low-income communities, individuals, and households

EJ Bureaucracy

Adaptation & Resilience

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Governance and Planning

Governance Structures

Office Designation

Task Forces/Advisory Groups

AB 111 (2020) – Catastrophe Response Council
SB 456 (2021) – Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force

Cabinet Commissions and Committees

Adaptation and Resilience Plans

Action Plans

Safeguarding California Plan (2018)

Assessments

California Climate Change Assessment(2019)

Frameworks

California Sea-Level Rise Guidance (2018)

SB 246 (2015) – Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program

Climate Hazard Mitigation Plans

Solutions and Funding

Building Codes, Land Use, and Zoning

Executive Order B-30-15 (2015) – Requires state agencies to incorporate climate considerations in all planning and investment decisions

SB 379 (2015) – Requires local governments to include consideration of climate impacts in local land-use plans (or general plans)

Built/Hard Infrastructure

AB 2800 (2020) – Climate Safe Infrastructure Working Group
Paying it Forward: The path Toward Climate-Safe Infrastructure in California (2018)

Grid Resilience Measures

SB 533 (2021) – Requires Wildfire Mitigation Plans for electric corporations

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

AB 65 (2020) – Requires the State Coastal Conservancy to prioritize funding coastal adaptation projects that use natural infrastructure

State Funding

Development Funding

AB 78 (2020) – Creates the Climate Catalyst Revolving Loan Fund Act
California Coastal Conservancy Climate Ready Grant Program

Disaster Relief Funding

Electricity

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Renewables and Energy Storage

Greenhouse Gas Targets

Target

38 million metric tons (MMT) by 2030 | 35 MMT by 2032

Mandate Source

R.20-05-003 (2022)

Renewable Portfolio Standard

Target

60% by 2030 | 100% by 2045

Legislation

SB 100 (2018)

Distributed Generation/Solar Carve-out

SPOT Components – 0 out of 5*

Net Metering

SPOT Components – 10 out of 11*

Energy Storage Standard

SPOT Components – 5 out of 5*

Shared Renewables

SPOT Components – 4 out of 6*

*The State Policy Opportunity Tracker (SPOT) breaks clean energy policies down into “components”, which are binary questions to evaluate policy quality. Higher quality policies have more of their SPOT components fulfilled.

Grid and Utility Reform

Clean Energy Plan

Grid Modernization Plan

The GridWise Alliance’s Grid Modernization Index (GMI) evaluates and ranks the status of grid modernization efforts across all 50 states and D.C.

50-state Ranking – 1st

Interconnection Standards

SPOT Components – 5 out of 6*

Utility Green Power Option

SPOT Components – 2 out of 6*

New Utility Business Model Proceeding

SPOT Components – 5 out of 5*

Carbon Pollution Pricing

Buildings & Efficiency

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Building Energy Codes

Residential Codes

SPOT Components – 6 out of 6*

Statewide code – California Energy Code (2021)

Commercial Codes

SPOT Components – 6 out of 6*

Statewide code – California Energy Code (2019)

Stretch or Reach Codes

*The State Policy Opportunity Tracker (SPOT) breaks clean energy policies down into “components”, which are binary questions to evaluate policy quality. Higher quality policies have more of their SPOT components fulfilled.

Efficiency Programs and Financing

Weatherization Programs

SPOT Components – 3 out of 4*

Energy Auditing Programs

Retrocommissioning Programs

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)

SPOT Components – 8 out of 10*

Energy Savings Performance Contracting

SPOT Components – 5 out of 5*

Standards and Market Mechanisms

Energy Efficiency Resource Standard

SPOT Components – 4 out of 5*

Building Performance Standard (BPS)

Appliance Performance Standard (APS)

Carbon Pollution Pricing

Buildings Data Disclosure

Transportation

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Vehicle Standards and Incentives

Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV) Standards

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Mandates

Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicle (MHDVs) Sales Standards

Electric Vehicle Incentives

SPOT Components – 4 out of 5*

Charging Infrastructure Incentives

SPOT Components – 4 out of 5*

Carbon Pollution Pricing

Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS)

*The State Policy Opportunity Tracker (SPOT) breaks clean energy policies down into “components”, which are binary questions to evaluate policy quality. Higher quality policies have more of their SPOT components fulfilled.

State Planning and Investment

Greenhouse Gas Targets

Per capita emissions: -1% to 8% by 2020 | -1% to 16% by 2035
Relative to 1990 levels

Mandate Source

Mandatory – SB 375 (2008)

Decarbonization Plan

EV and EV Charging Infrastructure Plans

EV Transit Bus Deployment

The ACEEE Transportation Electrification Scorecard analyzes the level of investment and policies states adopt to procure electric transit buses. States can earn up to 6 points.

ACEEE Score – 5 out of 6 points

Bicycle Friendly State

The League of American Bicyclists’ State Report Cards evaluate and rank the safety and efficiency of active transportation systems across all 50 states.

50-state Ranking – 4th

Agriculture

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Soil Health and Regenerative Agriculture Governance

Mandate Source

Executive Order B-30-15 (2015)

Task Force Portal or Action Plan

Healthy Soils Action Plan

Financial Incentives

SB 129 (2021) – Healthy Soils Program

Technical Assistance and Education Programs

SB 129 (2021) – Healthy Soils Program

Food Waste Bans and Targets

Food Waste Reduction Target – 50% by 2020 | 75% by 2025
Relative to 2014 levels

Waste Recycling Requirement – Required for commercial generators of organic waste to either compost or anaerobically digest organic waste.

Mandate Source

SB 1383 (2016)
California Title 14, Natural Resources–Division 7, Ch. 3.1, Articles 1-3, 5-9

Industry, Materials, and Waste Management

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Short-Lived Climate Pollutant (SLCP) Regulations

HFC Regulations

SB 1383 (2016)

Methane Regulations

SB 1383 (2016)

Carbon Pollution Pricing

What are we missing? Let us know!

Last Updated March 2022