California holds carbon investment meeting

On Thursday the California Air Resources Board (ARB) held a public hearing to review a draft investment plan for the revenue generated from its carbon auctions.


According to state law, auction revenues must be used to fund other emission reducing initiatives in the state.


In 2012 Governor Jerry Brown signed additional laws outlining that 25% of carbon proceeds are to be spent on improving air quality in disadvantaged communities.


The California Department of Finance is responsible for developing a three-year investment plaan, which will then be appropriated in the state budget.


Several public hearings were held over the past year, including three workshops this past February, where a number of various projects were proposed including clean transportation, improved energy efficiency, clean electricity generation, and natural resource preservation.


After reviewing all of the potential projects, several California organizations including the ARB, Department of Fish and Wildlife, Department of Food and Agriculture, the Department of Forestry, and the California Energy Commission worked together to create the draft investment plan.


According to the ARB Draft Investment Plan, the main goals for use of auction proceeds is to maximize economic, environmental, and public health benefits, in addition to fostering job creation by promoting in-state emission reduction projects to be carried out by California businesses and employees.


The Department of Finance is expected to submit its Investment Plan to the state legislature in May, when the Governor’s office will review it.