AB 1405: A Solution to California’s Climate Crisis
Protecting all Californians, strengthening all neighborhoods
In 2006 Californians celebrated the passage of the first comprehensive climate change law in the nation, the California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32). One of the goals of AB 32 is to ensure that low-income and minority communities are strengthened by efforts to tackle the climate crisis. Unfortunately, the California Air Resources Board has yet to act on this promise. AB 1405 (De León/V. M. Pérez) fills in this gap by creating a Community Benefits Fund to direct a portion of the revenues generated from AB 32 to help Californians who are least able to confront the expected effects of the climate crisis at a local level.
The effects of climate change have already brought California increasing episodes of extreme heat, air pollution, drought, floods, and violent and unpredictable weather, all of which can lead to increased incidence of disease and other problems. AB 1405 ensures equal protection for all Californians, including those in the most impoverished communities, from these devastating impacts of climate crisis.
A few ways polluted neighborhoods can utilize generated resources through AB 1405 include:
- Implementing emissions reduction programs
- Preempting the effects of heat waves
- Preparing for floods and fires
- Improving quality of life
Update: Governor Schwarznegger vetoed AB 1405.
Assembly Bill 1405 passed through the State Senate and the Assembly but the governor vetoed it. If you contact Governor Schwarzenegger, tell him you're disappointed he didn't sign this important bill on equal protection from the California climate crisis. You can call the Governor's office at 916-445-2841, ext. 0.
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Many Californians are unfairly burdened by harmful air quality and chronic respiratory illness because polluting industries and transportation corridors are concentrated in poorer neighborhoods. The effects of global warming threaten to saddle these neighborhoods with additional burdens such as increased air pollution, heat waves, droughts, and job loss.
4.6 million Californians earn income below the federal poverty level. An estimated majority of them live in neighborhoods facing the biggest burdens associated with global warming, such as severe air pollution.
As California works to solve our climate crisis, we must invest in the neighborhoods that have suffered the most and will struggle the most. Without requiring new revenue, AB 1405 will accomplish this.