California Climate Dashboard

Closing in on our 2030 climate target

Graph of California's annual GHG emissions since 2000. Emissions peaked at 491 MMT CO2e in 2004 and were 418 MMT CO2 in 2019.

Surpassing our 2020 climate target

The 2006 California Global Warming Solutions Act (Assembly Bill 32) set a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions back to 1990 levels by 2020. California surpassed this target four years early in 2016, and emissions have continued to drop since then. California’s next climate target is to reduce emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. The Scoping Plan lays out how California will achieve this target.

Progress toward 2030

2019 emissions were 72.5 million metric tons lower than in 2004, our peak emissions year,

equal to taking 15.4 million cars

off the road for one year

In 2019, California was ahead of its 2020 emissions target by almost 13 million metric tons,

equal to taking 2.7 million cars

off the road for one year

Benefits of climate action in California

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Carbon-free electric grid

On Track

In 2020, 59% of California’s total electricity generation came from non-fossil fuel sources such as solar, wind, hydropower, and nuclear power. 34.5% of the state’s retail electricity sales were served by Renewable Portfolio Standard-eligible sources such as solar and wind. The Renewable Portfolio Standard requires that California’s electricity comes from 60% carbon-free resources by 2030 and 100% by 2045. We are on track to meet these targets.

Path to 100% Clean Electricity

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Decrease in greenhouse gas emissions from electric power from 2008 - 2019

On Track

This decrease in emissions is equivalent to 14 million cars off the road for one year. Electric power emissions have decreased as renewable generation continues to replace fossil power. Total solar generation increased by a factor of 16 from 2011 to 2019. 

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Zero-emission vehicle sales through Quarter 2 of 2022

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California passed one million cumulative zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) sales in October 2021, surpassing total sales in the next 10 states combined (source). The average ZEV pollutes much less than the average gasoline-powered car, even when factoring in pollution from manufacturing, charging, and driving (CARB).

ZEV Sales Dashboard

In consumer savings from energy efficiency standards

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Over the last 40 years, California’s appliance and building energy efficiency standards have saved consumers over $100 billion. Improved technology has allowed consumers to use less energy, saving them money, for the same quality of service. Energy efficiency can also reduce the need for new electricity generation.

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$1.2 – $1.8 billion

Avoided health impacts through 2030 

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California’s 2017 Climate Change Scoping Plan estimated that there would be a saving of $1.2 – $1.8 billion in avoided health impacts through 2030. Many of the strategies used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions also reduce toxic air pollution and make the air healthier to breathe. 

Clean energy jobs in California

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Clean energy jobs in California employ five times more workers than all fossil fuel jobs combined. The workforce is made up of nearly 10% military veterans and employs over 11,000 rural Californians. Clean energy jobs also support small businesses – over a quarter of these workers are employed by a business with fewer than 5 employees (E2).

Overview

What is climate change?

Climate change is a long-term shift in average weather patterns. It is caused mainly by burning fossil fuels for energy, which releases greenhouse gases. These gases form a blanket of pollution over the earth that traps heat in the atmosphere. This effect, also known as global warming, is causing our planet to overheat, leading to more severe wildfires, droughts, floods, and more. 

Why does climate change matter?

Eight in ten Californians agree that global warming is a serious threat to California’s future economy and quality of life (PPIC). In California, climate change is already causing more destructive wildfires, disrupting our water supplies, impacting our farmlands, and causing more heat waves and flooding. 

Solutions

California is committed to creating a cleaner, healthier, and more prosperous future in a way that uplifts all Californians. Our ambitious climate efforts have led to many tangible benefits, such as improved air quality, cleaner cars, and affordable clean energy. California has become a global leader in climate action and has many climate partnerships around the world.

What is driving climate change?

There are many sources of pollution that contribute to climate change. In California, transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 41% of total statewide emissions in 2019. That percentage jumps to over 50% when counting pollution from extracting, refining and moving transportation fuels. The 2000 – 2019 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory describes each of the slices in the adjacent pie chart in more detail. It also summarizes major annual changes and long term trends in greenhouse gas emissions. 

This pie chart shows California’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2019 broken out by economic sector. MMT CO2e = Million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

Change in California GDP, Population, and GHG Emissions Since 2000. GDP and population have increased since 2000, whereas GHG emissions, GHG emissions per capita, and GHG emissions per GDP have all decreased in the same time period.

Reducing pollution while growing the economy

California is on track to meet the goals of The California Global Warming Solutions Act, or Assembly Bill 32 (AB 32), and we are doing so while growing our economy. If California were a country, it would have the fifth largest economy in the world. In 2021, our state’s GDP was over $3.3 trillion, nearly 15% of the total U.S. economy (BEA). From 2001 – 2019, emissions per person decreased by 25%, while our gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 63% (CARB). 

What is California doing to combat climate change?

Water and Drought

Californians affected by drought

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January, February, and March of this year had the least rain and snow on record for any of these months in California. These warm, dry months overshadowed gains in precipitation at the end of 2021. Snow melted faster than expected, reducing snowpack to just 38% of average by April 1. This is the state’s second extreme drought in 10 years, a symptom of a warming climate. See more on California drought conditions at California Water Watch.

In grants to California Communities

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DWR is providing hundreds of millions of dollars in direct financial assistance through its two drought relief grant programs – small community and urban/multi-benefit – to communities who need it most for drought relief projects, to address water supply challenges, and help build local resilience. To date, the two programs have distributed $406 million to communities in need.

 

Gallons of water saved from California’s Turf Replacement Rebate Program from 2015 - 2020

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The statewide Turf Replacement Rebate Program began in August of 2015 and continued until June 30, 2020. By the program’s end, the State was able to grant rebates for a total of 14,108 applicants, totaling $20,535,936.75 in rebate dollars, which will save an estimated 2,127 acre-feet (693,085,077 gallons) of water annually. (Will need to add more context here and maybe tease to the return of the program in 2022).

California is in the midst of a third year of severe drought. Climate change is spurring warmer conditions in California, intensifying drought and flood, and creating larger gaps between significant precipitation events that are vital to our water supply. California will need to continue to adapt to this changing climate by diversifying water supplies with recycling, groundwater recharge, desalination, stormwater capture, and other strategies; protecting and enhancing natural systems like rivers and wetlands; improving forecasts, and better tracking water use. All Californians can do their part by reducing their water use inside and outside the home every day. 

Community Health

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Cleaner vehicles today than vehicles from 1975

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Compared to a 1975 passenger vehicle, today’s cars are more than 99 percent cleaner. Cleaner cars mean cleaner air. But with more than 25 million passenger cars registered in California, we need to continue the shift from cars that burn only fossil fuels to the ever-increasing number of the very cleanest, most efficient cars available. California has ambitious goals: 5 million zero-emission vehicles on its roads and highways by 2030, and 100% of new vehicle sales being zero emission starting 2035 to ensure the state meets its air quality and climate goals.

In estimated health benefits from Low NOx Heavy-Duty Omnibus Regulation

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Of all the measures in the State Implementation Plan (California’s blueprint for meeting federal air quality standards), the Heavy-Duty Omnibus Rulemaking is expected to provide the most Oxides of nitrogen, or NOx, emission benefits – 24 tons per day in 2031 for California-only standards. This will result in roughly 3,900 avoided premature deaths and 3,150 avoided hospitalizations statewide over the life of the rule. The rule will also have total statewide health benefits of approximately $36.8 billion.

Low NOx Fact Sheet

Invested to protect Californians against public health risks of carbon pollution

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The 2022 – 2023 budget invests a $346 million investment to protect Californians – particularly those in disadvantaged communities who bear the brunt of pollution – against the public health risks of carbon pollution.

2022 – 2023 Budget

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Reduction in cancer risk from significant air toxics

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[Ask CARB for source to study] A study showed that cancer risk from exposure to the state’s most significant air toxics declined 77 percent over a 26-year period in California, a direct result of regulations targeting unhealthful emissions from these air pollutants most significantly diesel particulate matter. The study quantifies emission trends for the period from 1990 through 2016 for seven toxic air contaminants (TACs) that are responsible for most of the known cancer risk associated with airborne exposure in California. 

Degrees Fahrenheit increase in average daily temperature projected by 2100

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The projected temperature increase depends on greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Heat causes the most weather-related deaths in the United States. In addition to increasing the risk of heat-related illnesses and deaths, periods of extremely high temperatures worsen air quality, stress vegetation, threaten livestock health, increase agricultural and urban water demand, and strain the electric power supply. 

Extreme Heat Events

Invested to improve resilience toward extreme heat impacts

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In partnership with the Legislature, Governor Newsom advanced an $800 million package in last year’s budget to protect California’s communities from heat. The package includes $300 million to support implementation of the Extreme Heat Action Plan and numerous other investments that protect communities, the economy, and natural systems from extreme heat. The Governor is proposing to allocate this additional funding in the 2022-23 budget to support the implementation of the Extreme Heat Action Plan.

Read the Press Release

Climate change is considered the greatest global public health threat of the 21st century and affects virtually all aspects of health and well-being, including access to clean air, food, water, shelter, and physical safety. Communities across California are experiencing health impacts associated with the climate crisis today. Examples include injury, illness, and death from wildfires and wildfire smoke, extreme heat, drought, landslides, extreme weather events, vector-borne diseases, and associated mental health impacts. Through the state’s investment in community resilience, California will continue to strengthen protections for climate vulnerable communities, protect public health and safety, and increase resilience of the economy and natural systems. (CA Climate Adaptation Strategy)

Investments

The California Blueprint invests:

  • $800 million toward extreme heat resilience 
  • $2.7 billion toward wildfire resilience 
  • $346 million to protect against the health risks of carbon pollution 
  • $1.5 billion for electric school buses to cut pollution at our kids’ schools 
  • $13.8 billion to build clean and accessible public transportation 
  • $1.4 billion to restore our natural lands, which can help fight climate change by sequestering carbon 
  • $1.1 billion to farmers who are on the frontlines of extreme weather
  • $281 million to train 25,000 new community health workers on a variety of topics, including climate health

Reports and Regulations

Reports

Regulations

  • SB 756 – Home weatherization services for low-income customers
  • SB 757 – Solar energy system improvements and consumer protection
  • AB 9 – Community wildfire preparedness and mitigation

Energy

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Carbon-free electric grid

On Track

In 2020, 59% of California’s total electricity generation came from non-fossil fuel sources such as solar, wind, hydropower, and nuclear power. 34.5% of the state’s retail electricity sales were served by Renewables Portfolio Standard-eligible sources such as solar and wind. The Renewable Portfolio Standard requires that California’s electricity comes from 60% carbon-free resources by 2030 and 100% by 2045. We are on track to meet these targets. 

Path to 100% Clean Electricity

Clean energy jobs in California

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Clean energy jobs in California employ five times more workers than all fossil fuel industries combined (89k), and 9.7% of workers are military veterans, higher than the national average of 6%. In 2019, one out of seven clean energy jobs in the US were in California. Even without the state’s top two metro areas (Los Angeles and San Francisco), California would still be home to more clean energy workers than any other state.

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In consumer savings from energy efficiency standards

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California’s appliance and building energy efficiency standards have saved consumers over $100 billion over 40 years.

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Growth of battery storage in California in 2021

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California is expanding energy storage to allow more solar and wind power into the grid. Because wind power is generated only when the wind blows, and solar energy is reduced on cloudy days, technologies that can store and supply extra power are becoming increasingly important. Energy storage benefits includes providing a steady generation of clean power, lower energy costs, and reduced climate-warming emissions.

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Less energy used by Californians compared to the average American

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Thanks in part to California’s efficiency standards, the state’s per capita energy use has stayed nearly flat since the early 1970s, even as the state’s economy grew by 80 percent. Today, Californians use 31 percent less energy compared to the average American.

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Decrease in greenhouse gas emissions from electric power from 2008 - 2019

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This decrease in emissions is equivalent to 14 million cars off the road for one year. Electric power emissions have decreased as renewable generation continues to replace fossil power. Total solar generation increased by a factor of 16 from 2011 to 2019. 

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Progress to 100% clean electricity. In 2013, 41% of electricity was renewable or zero-carbon (which includes 9% large hydro, 22% renewable, and 10% nuclear). In 2020, that number was 59%. This includes 13.9% large hydro, 34.5% renewable, and 10.6% nuclear. The 2045 target is 100%.

California is building a safe, affordable, and reliable clean energy future that benefits all communities. The state leads the world in appliance and building energy efficiency. Investments drive clean innovation and entrepreneurship that help meet the state’s climate goals. As climate change accelerates, the state needs to speed up the pace toward 100 percent clean energy. That requires California to increase coordination among energy agencies to ensure a strong grid.

Transportation

Zero-Emission Vehicle Package

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This $10 billion ZEV package builds on Governor Newsom’s first-in-the-nation action to shift the automotive industry entirely to all electric by 2035, utilizing California’s market dominance to accelerate the transition to zero-emission vehicles across the world and dramatically reduce the state’s reliance on fossil fuels. Electric vehicles have become one of the state’s top exports, and California represents half of the United States’ ZEV market. These actions are tackling the single largest culprit of pollution in California – the tailpipe.

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Low-income consumers assisted under the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project

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California leads the nation in support for low-income EV consumers. As of July 2022, over 94,000 rebates had been given to low-income and disadvantaged consumers under the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, and an additional 10,000 consumers utilized the Clean Cars 4 All program to replace their car with a clean vehicle. The Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project funded over 9,000 vehicles, with 60 percent in pollution-burdened communities.

Clean Vehicle Incentives

Invested in public transportation

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The California Blueprint invests $13.8 billion to build cleaner, faster, and more accessible public transportation while preparing for the impacts of climate change. The 2022 – 2023 budget includes $3.65 billion for the Transit Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP). The TIRCP budget investments include $300 million for adapting certain rail lines to sea level rise and a minimum of $900 million in each regional allocation for priority projects. TIRCP competitive grants fund transformative projects that modernize transit systems, increase ridership, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve safety. A minimum of 25% of funding is dedicated to provide direct benefit to disadvantaged communities.

Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program | CalSTA

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Increase in total miles traveled by vehicles

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Although California’s per capita vehicle miles traveled (VMT) is roughly the same as it was in 2001, total VMT has risen by about 15%.  We are far above the level needed to meet the state’s climate goals. Caltrans is working to provide access to destinations while reducing the number and length of motor vehicle trips required.

Rethinking How We Build So Californians Can Drive Less

In the 2022 - 2023 budget for active transportation, such as biking and walking

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Since its inception, the Active Transportation Program has funded over 800 active transportation projects across the state benefiting both urban and rural areas. More than 400 of the funded projects are Safe Routes to Schools projects and programs that encourage a healthy and active lifestyle throughout students’ lives. In addition, every cycle has seen more than 85% of funds going towards projects that will benefit disadvantaged communities throughout the state.

Active Transportation Program

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Of total vehicles sold were zero-emission vehicles in Quarter 1 of 2022, up from 6.84% in 2019

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California is phasing out gasoline-powered cars. By 2035, all new cars and passenger trucks sold in the state must be zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). Cumulative ZEV sales in California through Quarter 2 of 2022 were over 1.21 million. Our visionary ZEV targets have created market certainty, while our ZEV incentives have spurred innovation. As we accelerate the shift to ZEVs, we will see benefits such as cleaner air, less greenhouse gas emissions, and reduced dependency on oil. 

Learn More about ZEVs

ZEV Sales Dashboard

Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the state. California has been working hard to reduce pollution from transportation so we can meet our climate goals. Even as our population and economy have grown, pollution from transportation has decreased substantially since its peak in 2005. We have shown that transitioning to cleaner transportation can be done while delivering benefits to low-income consumers, improving health, creating tens of thousands of jobs, and reducing our dependence on oil

Agriculture

Gallons of water are estimated to be saved annually, enough to fill 70,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools

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Agriculture is California’s most water-dependent industry. We have reduced on-farm water use by 14 percent from levels present in 1990, while increasing food production by 38 percent. Water use efficiency is in part on how farmers and ranchers are adapting. SWEEP has made grant awards to 1,111 projects covering 168,000 acres. $123.5 million has been awarded to date, with more than $70.5 million in matching funds. CDFA received $50 million in 2021. Of that, $10.8 million was awarded to Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers, while $4.5 million was invested in projects that benefit Priority Populations. 

Metric tons of carbon pollution will be sequestered because of the livestock methane reduction programs

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22.1 million metric tons of carbon pollution will be sequestered over the lifespan of the Dairy Digester Research and Development Program (DDRDP) and the Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP). Over the last seven years, California has invested more than $264 million in Climate Smart Agricultural programs that focus on the dairy sector. This has resulted in more than 233 projects that will achieve a reduction in CO2 emissions of more than 2.3 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year. 

Metric tons of CO2e are sequestered each year because of the Healthy Soils Program

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The Healthy Soils Program stems from the California Healthy Soils Initiative, a collaboration of state agencies and departments to promote the development of healthy soils on California’s farmlands and ranchlands. The program develops practices designed to increase statewide implementation of conservation management practices that improve soil health, sequester carbon, and reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs) by providing financial incentives to California growers and ranchers for agricultural management practices that sequester carbon, reduce atmospheric GHGs and improve soil health. Since 2017, HSP has successfully completed four solicitations and awarded approximately $ 40 million to 618 projects impacting over 54,000 acres.

California is committed to being carbon neutral by 2045, and agriculture is part of the solution. Since 2014, the state has invested more than $643 million in climate-smart agriculture programs – from water savings, dairy digesters, healthy soils, manure management, and technical assistance. All these programs aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also have many co-benefits like soil water retention, erosion prevention, pollinator habitat, and more. 

Investments

BUDGET

  • $643.85M has been invested in CDFA’s Climate-Smart programs, which include the Healthy Soils Program (HSP), Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP), Dairy Digester Research & Development Program (DDRDP), State Water Efficiency & Enhancement Program (SWEEP), Pollinators Habitat Program (PHP), and Conservation Agriculture Planning Grants Program (CAPGP).
  • HSP – $125M to improve California’s soil health to function as a living system.
  • LIVESTOCK METHANE REDUCTION PROGRAMS – $321for improving the dairy industry and other livestock methane reduction practices that result in long-term emissions reductions and maximize environmental benefits.
  • SWEEP – $137.5M to provide financial incentives for agricultural operations to invest in irrigation systems that save water and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • PHP – $15M to prioritize and encourage biodiversity plans using locally appropriate native plant seed mixes when feasible.
  • CAPGP – $17M to develop plans to help farmers and ranchers identify actions for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Forestry and Wildfire

Acres treated in preparation for the upcoming wildfire season, surpassing 2025 target of 100,000

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CAL FIRE and its grant recipients have conducted fuels treatment and fire prevention work on more than 110,900 acres in the 2020-2021 fiscal year, which exceeds its 2025 100,000-acre goal ahead of schedule. Additional data continues to be reported to and validated by CAL FIRE.

Read the Press Release

Wildfire resilience projects launched as of July 1, 2022

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The Wildfire Resilience Program has already committed $1.1 billion and has launched more than 930 projects, which includes the CAL FIRE projects and funding. Many of these projects finished within a few months of receiving funding. 

Invested in fiscal years 2020 - 2023 in wildfire resilience

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$2.7 billion is being invested to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires and protect our forests. These projects include forest thinning, prescribed burns, grazing, reforestation, and fuel breaks. 

California Climate Commitment: Biggest Climate Investment in History

California is facing an unprecedented and growing forest and wildfire crisis. Decades of fire exclusion, coupled with the increasing impacts of climate change, have dramatically increased wildfires’ size and intensity throughout the state. As climate change continues to exacerbate wildfire conditions, the Governor’s Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force is bringing federal, state, tribal, local, and private partners together to more effectively address the scale of this crisis.

Investments

A $2.7 billion investment to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires and protect our forests. These projects include forest thinning, prescribed burns, grazing, reforestation, and fuel breaks:

  • $482 million to enhance wildfire resilience by thinning forests, replanting trees, expanding grazing, and utilizing prescribed fire
  • $100 million to help recover critical watersheds burned in
    catastrophic wildfires
  • $382 million for CAL FIRE and the CCC to complete strategic fuel breaks projects
  • $44 million to “harden” homes and communities against wildfire ignitions
  • $400 million on an ongoing basis to improve the health and wellness of CAL FIRE firefighters

2022 – 2023 Emergency Response Budget

Wildfire Resilience Budget Report

Policies