Climate Action Programs

Click to enlarge CA Climate StrategySince the passage of AB 32 in 2006, California has been involved in groundbreaking climate action, setting our state’s greenhouse gas reduction targets to 1990 levels by 2020, and forming partnerships with other states and nations around the world to enact policy that can address climate change. California’s efforts (PDF) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions span all sectors of the economy, including energy, transportation, waste and natural resources. An interactive online map shows where funds from many of these ground-breaking programs are being invested and provides a summary of climate-related investments for each of the state’s 120 legislative districts. Moving past 2020 to 2030, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. established an ambitious 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target of 40 percent below 1990 levels. In his 2015 Inaugural Address, Governor Brown offered policy approaches ranging from increasing the use of renewable energy, to sequestering carbon in lands, to reducing the petroleum used in the vehicle sector. Throughout the state, individuals, communities, businesses and land managers are taking on the challenge to address these climate goals with grants and incentives from governments and foundations, and voluntary and regulatory action. 

Climate Action Team

The Climate Action Team is a multi-agency policy-level team that was formed pursuant to Executive Order S-3-05. The purpose of the Climate Action Team is to develop, evaluate, and implement climate change emission reduction strategies required under the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. Progress is tracked annually through the Climate Action Team Report Card, which documents (1) the effectiveness of measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in California and (2) greenhouse gas emissions from State agencies’ operations. The most recent Report Card documents reductions of 76 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) that occurred in 2019. Each Report Card shows reductions that happened two years prior to publication. In 2016, California reached its 2020 greenhouse gas emissions target four years early, and emissions continue to go down. The greenhouse gas reductions documented annually in the Report Card made this achievement possible. Report Cards can be accessed by clicking on the links below: 

Carbon Neutrality Studies

The 2019 Budget Act appropriated $3 million for two studies to support the state’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2045. CalEPA contracted the University of California Institute of Transportation Studies and the University of California, Santa Barbara to conduct the studies. One study identified strategies to significantly reduce transportation-related fossil fuel demand and emissions, including transitioning to zero emission vehicles, accelerating the use of alternative fuel sources, and reducing vehicle miles traveled. The second study identified strategies to strategically and responsibly manage the decline of transportation-related fossil fuel supply. The studies were published in April 2021 and can be accessed by clicking on the links below:

Visit the main Carbon Neutrality Studies page for more information.

Independent Emissions Market Advisory Committee

The Independent Emissions Market Advisory Committee analyzes the environmental and economic performance of the state’s cap-and-trade program and other relevant climate policies, then reports its findings to the California Air Resources Board and the Joint Legislative Committee on Climate Change. It was established by Assembly Bill 398 in 2017 and held its first meeting on June 20, 2018. Per statute (Health & Safety Code section 38591.2), it meets at least once a year and is made up of five experts on emissions trading market design as follows: three members are appointed by the Governor, one is appointed by the California State Senate’s Senate Rules Committee and one is appointed by the Speaker of the California State Assembly. The committee also includes a representative of the Legislative Analyst’s Office.

For IEMAC reports, contacts and information about meetings visit the IEMAC webpage.

California Climate Partnerships

California partners with other states, countries and regions around the world to achieve ambitious climate action goals. These activities maximize our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and make a real difference in factors that influence global warming. One of the key ways CalEPA is helping California build support for subnational action to address climate change is through the Subnational Global Climate Leadership Memorandum of Understanding, also known as the Under 2 MOU. Signatories to the MOU commit to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 80-95 percent against 1990 levels or to under two metric tons per capita by 2050. Currently, there are more than 220 signatories to the MOU spanning six continents and 27 countries, representing more than 1.3 billion people and a collective Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 43 percent of the global economy. In addition to the Under 2 MOU, California is a founding member of the International ZEV Alliance, a collaboration of national and subnational governments working together to accelerate adoption of zero emission vehicles. There are currently 14 participants representing six countries. California has also signed a number of agreements with other governments on climate change, including China, Mexico, Japan, the Netherlands and others. California’s international engagements related to climate change are coordinated through the Intergovernmental Climate Action Team.

Urban Heat Island Index

In 2015, CalEPA released a study on urban heat islands, “Creating and Mapping an Urban Heat Island Index for California.” It defines and examines the characteristics of the urban heat island, and assigns an urban heat island index (Index) for each census tract in and around selected urban areas throughout the state. Along with other environmental studies, this research can help identify and prioritize areas for mitigation. Study documents and interactive maps are available on the Urban Heat Island Index webpage.