It’s funded and run through a cap-and-trade program; emissions are capped, and if you need to exceed them, you can buy credits from other groups under the cap. This creates an economic incentive to reduce emissions and sell the credits; the money from the credits, which are auctioned off, in turn, go to projects in disadvantaged communities to help them reduce emissions and the public health impacts.
California has aggressively led solar, most recently passing a law requiring new construction to install solar panels. City government is even more cutting edge: The City of Berkeley recently prohibited natural gas infrastructure by ordinance.
Every state has unique needs, so there’s only so far California’s approaches can go. Nor is government innovation on this topic limited to the Golden State: For example, fourteen states and the District of Columbia have passed laws that voluntarily comply with California’s vehicle standards as a starting point for their own policies. Yet as a policy lab, California’s leadership on climate change has to be examined closely by states facing their own challenges.
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