California Climate Investments to Benefit Disadvantaged Communities

California Climate Investments are funds (Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and appropriated by the Legislature) from the proceeds of the State’s Cap-and-Trade Program specifically targeted for investment in disadvantaged communities in California. These funds are aimed at improving public health, quality of life, and economic opportunity in California’s most burdened communities while reducing pollution that causes climate change. These funds must be used for programs that further reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

Senate Bill 535 (De León, Statutes of 2012) directed that at least a quarter of the proceeds go to projects that provide a benefit to disadvantaged communities and at least 10 percent of the funds go to projects located within those communities. The legislation gives CalEPA the responsibility for identifying those communities.

Assembly Bill (AB) 1550 (Gomez, Statutes of 2016) modified the investment minimums to disadvantaged communities and increased percentage of funds directed -at least 25 percent- that should go to projects within and for the benefit of disadvantaged communities and at least an additional 10 percent to go for low-income households or communities.

Preliminary SB 535 Identification of Disadvantaged Communities (2021)

CalEPA’s October 2021 Preliminary SB 535 Disadvantaged Communities Designation can be found here: English  | Spanish (.pdfs)

Based upon several years of community outreach, public workshops and stakeholder feedback, CalEPA is releasing a proposal for identifying disadvantaged communities, and with support from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA). CalEPA has determined that the improvements found in CalEnviroScreen Version 4.0 warrant a reconsideration of designation practices and the eventual issuance of a new designation of disadvantaged communities.


California Climate Investments are administered by state and local agencies for a variety of greenhouse-gas cutting programs, including energy efficiency, public transit, low-carbon transportation and affordable housing. Guidelines written by CARB help these agencies develop programs that meet statutory requirements for reducing emissions while maximizing the benefits to disadvantaged communities.


CalEPA Welcomes Public Comments on the Preliminary Designation

CalEPA welcomes comments on its preliminary designation until Nov. 16, 2021. Comments can be sent to

October 2021 SB 535 Workshops

The public was also invited to provide feedback by participating in virtual public workshops on the preliminary designation.

CalEPA, CARB and OEHHA staff hosted the two identical virtual workshops on Oct. 26 and Oct. 27, 2021, to receive input and feedback on how disadvantaged communities should be identified in California for the purpose of investing Cap-and-Trade auction proceeds and implementing SB 535 (2012) and AB 1550 (2016).

View the slides from the workshops.

The SB 535 workshops began with a welcome and brief presentation on CalEPA’s proposal and CalEnviroScreen 4.0, and then staff from State agencies convened multiple breakout rooms for participants to provide input and ask questions. Spanish interpretation and translation of the materials were made available.

Questions: If you have any questions on the workshops, please contact Brenna Sheldon at or (916) 384-8901.

Notices for Future Meetings and Materials: If you would like to receive notices of future meetings and the availability of materials on these subjects, please sign up for both the list serves at:  and

Background: SB 535 Identification of Disadvantaged Communities (2017)

SB 535 Google Earth file: Download Google Earth to view.

SB 535 & AB 1550 Interactive Maps

Public Comment Invited on Preliminary Designation Disadvantaged Communities (until Nov. 16, 2021)

The public is invited to submit public comment on the methods used to identify the parts of California that are designated as “disadvantaged communities.” The method is important because disadvantaged communities are eligible for a significant share of the California Climate Investments from the state’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and other benefits from specific Climate Investment programs. Public comment is invited through Nov. 16, 2021, and can be submitted to