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Center for American Progress

RELEASE: California’s Climate Policy Offers Valuable Lessons for Biden Administration, CAP Report Says
Press Release

RELEASE: California’s Climate Policy Offers Valuable Lessons for Biden Administration, CAP Report Says

Washington, D.C. — The Biden administration can learn valuable lessons from California’s science-based, whole-of-government approach to climate policy, according to a new report from the Center for American Progress.

The report describes how California has created one of the most comprehensive climate policy landscapes in the world, highlighting both strengths and challenges. These policy innovations have run the gamut, from direct regulations to inclusive interagency climate actions, to a multijurisdictional carbon market. Taken together, they have reduced harmful emissions, prioritized environmental justice, and built partnerships across the state.

“California has long served as a climate policy laboratory for the nation. The state’s decadeslong, bipartisan approach has resulted in a number of groundbreaking policies and lessons that can help the Biden administration as well as other states and local governments across the country act swiftly to address U.S. contributions to global climate change,” said Aimee Barnes, co-author of the report. “The California model shows that climate action can be a political, economic, and social winner.”

Among the lessons:

  • Build a strong, science-based foundation for effective climate policy.
  • Set ambitious and aggressive targets and policies while updating and improving them continuously.
  • Prioritize environmental justice.
  • Take a whole-of-government approach and communicate about it effectively.
  • Forge partnerships, including those with states, tribes, local governments, and other countries.

Read the report: “Learning From California’s Ambitious Climate Policy” by Aimee Barnes, Ashley Conrad-Saydah, Hannah Argento-McCurdy, Angela Luh, and Matthew Gobin

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at [email protected].