This report offers a Climate Policy Equity Framework for California’s low-carbon transition based on three principles: environmental justice, economic equity, and public accountability.
Employment > Job creation and/or equality
Environment and/or pollution > Human health
Government intervention > Carbon pricing, Public finance, Regulation
Inequality and/or poverty > Other
distributional impacts of regulation
California Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)
community shared solar
cap and trade programs
Carol Zabin, Abigail Martin, Rachel Morello-Frosch, Manuel Pastor, Jim Sadd
Center for Labor Research and Education
Academic/research institution or journal
This report presents a Climate Policy Equity Framework meant to help California policymakers develop and evaluate climate policy. The framework includes specific criteria for tracking progress in meeting three main goals of environmental justice, economic equity, and public accountability. The authors use these criteria to analyze how close a particular climate policy or program has come to meeting these equity goals. They highlight indicators and corresponding data sources that can better track the impact of climate policy on equity.
The authors look at the framework through evidence available from carbon-reduction legislations in California, including the 2006 Global Warming Solutions Act (Assembly Bill 32), Senate Bill 350 (2015), and Senate Bill 32 (2016). Evidence and examples from the state’s past interventions in energy efficiency and renewable energy guide their recommendations. While the low-carbon transition has not (yet) resulted in a net loss in jobs, the authors highlight the policies’ distributional impacts, the potential for increasingly ambitious greenhouse gas–reduction targets to worsen job losses, and the lower wages and career prospects associated with some of the created jobs. They recommend tangible public policy steps, including requiring labor standards for public projects, equitably distributing public incentive funds, and monitoring the equity performance of California’s climate policies.
Guidance document/Guidelines, Strategies and Recommendations
These guidelines were developed through tripartite dialogue. They provide general guidance on how to formulate, implement, and monitor a just transition in accordance with national circumstances and priorities. It is a commonly referenced document in the just transitions discourse and, in many respects, outlines the foundational elements of just transitions in the context of climate action.
This document briefly summarizes the vision, opportunities and challenges, and guiding principles of a just transition, which were first outlined in conclusions by the 102nd session of the International Labor Conference in 2013. It then builds on these conclusions to outline the elements of a basic framework for a just transition. These elements include institutional arrangements and key policy areas that serve to mainstream and promote environmental, economic, and social sustainability. The guidance is directed at both governments and social partners, which have an active and significant role to play in the transition.