Posted Jan. 10, 2020; Updated Jan. 17, 2020
The Governor’s 2020-21 State Budget proposal includes significant investments in climate resiliency, with the Governor proposing multiple “climate resiliency” initiatives, including a $4.75 billion climate resiliency bond, $965 million in Cap-and-Trade expenditures for climate change-related programs, and $1 billion in the Climate Catalyst Fund. These initiatives taken together are called the “climate budget” investment strategy, and aim to invest $12.5 billion into these initiatives over the next five years. The climate budget includes a number of projects, with funding for the New River and Tijuana River, urban flood risk reduction, Sustainable Groundwater Management Act implementation, and accelerating the deployment of electric vehicle charging stations.
Additionally, the Governor’s budget proposal enumerates three priorities to address short- and long-term climate risks:
Climate Resiliency Bond
- Transportation — Decarbonizing the transportation sector
- Natural and Working Lands — Strategies to increase carbon sequestration and reduce emissions from forests and agriculture lands
- Climate Resilience — Assist regions and communities to become more resilient to the impacts of climate change.
The Governor’s budget proposes a $4.75 billion climate resiliency bond that would be placed on the November 2020 ballot. This bond would be focused primarily on water issues, but with other priorities, such as wildfires, also included. This proposal will need to go through the legislative process first in order to be placed on the ballot, then it will be up to California voters to decide on its passage. Below is an outline of the proposed bond:
- $2.925 billion for water, flood management, and drought measures
- $1 billion for regional and inter-regional water resilience
- $395 million for sustainable groundwater management
- $360 million for safe drinking water
- $340 million for flood control
- $220 million for Salton Sea Management Plan implementation
- $200 million for an environmental farming incentive program
- $140 million for enhanced stream flows and fish passage
- $750 million for wildfires
- $500 million for hardening of critical community infrastructure, including hardening drinking water infrastructure and emergency shelters
- $250 for forest health projects
- $500 million for projects to protect critical infrastructure due to sea level rise in coastal communities
- $320 million for coastal wetland restoration projects
- $130 million for nature-based solutions to build resilience
- $50 million for demonstration projects to protect critical infrastructure that are vulnerable to sea level rise
- $325 million for extreme heat mitigation projects
- $200 million for urban greening and forestry
- $125 million for cool surface materials projects
- $250 million for community resiliency projects
- $25 million for community resiliency planning
- $225 million for the construction of new and retrofitting of existing community resiliency centers
The Governor’s budget proposal includes a $965 million Cap-and-Trade expenditure plan. This plan is $413 million less and almost a 30 percent decrease from the $1.378 billion total in the 2019-20 adopted budget.
This Cap-and-Trade expenditure plan dovetails with the Governor’s climate resiliency bond, which supports and compliments these investments. A notable absence from the 2020-21 Cap-and-Trade expenditure plan is funding for Transformative Climate Communities ($60 million in 2019-20) and Urban Greening ($30 million in 2019-20) programs.
Items from this Cap-and-Trade expenditure plan of note are:
Climate Catalyst Fund
- $200 million for implementation of AB 617 (C. Garcia, Chapter 136, Statutes of 2017) to reduce air pollution
- $8.2 million in GGRF to support defensible space inspections
- $15 million to CalRecycle for waste diversion
The Governor’s budget proposal includes a $1 billion General Fund investment, with $250 million in 2020-21 and additional funding in later years, for a Climate Catalyst Fund. This fund would be administered by the state’s Infrastructure Economic Development Bank (I-Bank) in consultation with the Strategic Growth Council and the Labor and Workforce Development Agency. This revolving loan fund would provide low-interest loans for a portfolio of climate-related projects.
The Climate Catalyst Fund would be focused on three main areas:
- Transportation emission reductions
- Climate smart agriculture and forestry
- Circular economy development and implementation