The Cleaner Air News
The newsletter of the Cleaner Air Partnership
Save the Date: Upcoming Events
Beyond Paris: Local Action Vital to Success of Global Climate Agreement
Talks draw Private Sector Support for Climate Action
Air Quality and Climate Action: In Review and Yet to Come
Breathe California Seeks Clean Air Champions and Artists
Upcoming Events
New Partners for Smart Growth Conference
February 11-13,
Portland, OR

Practical Tools and Innovation Strategies for Creating Great Communities.

Clean Air Awards Nominations
Due January 31, 2016

Nominate your clean air hero today!

CAP Quarterly Luncheon
Friday March 11,
 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Save the Date!


*The news links above  do not necessarily reflect the views of the Cleaner Air Partnership or its members.  They are intended for information purposes.

Metro Chamber Logo  

  Breathe Logo January 7, 2016
Beyond Paris: Local Action Vital to Success of Global Climate Agreement

To close out 2015, an historic global agreement was reached in Paris, with more than 180 countries, including the United States, committing to take action on climate change. With the climate talks behind us, the real work of addressing climate change comes down to action taken at the local level. In a recent editorial Chris McKenzie, executive director of the League of California Cities and Matt Cate, executive director of the California State Association of Counties, write that "reducing greenhouse gases also improves communities. We all benefit from lower energy bills. Cutting emissions reduces the risks of asthma, lung cancer and heart disease."
Many actions taken at the local level to address air quality issues also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Take for instance wood smoke reduction. Incentives for the replacement of old/inefficient wood-burning stoves are a cost-effective action for combating air pollution, according to Dave Johnston, air pollution control officer for the El Dorado County Air Quality Management District (AQMD). As an example,  El Dorado County AQMD offers the Chimney Smoke Reduction Incentive Program. This program replaces older wood stoves or fireplaces with cleaner-burning devices to improve winter air quality. These replacements result in the reduction of particulate matter (PM) pollution caused by inefficient residential wood combustion.
The air quality benefits of wood smoke reduction also result in the reduction of black carbon (or soot). Black carbon is a short-lived climate pollutant. According to the California Air Resources Board, short lived climate pollutants are "powerful climate forcers that remain in the atmosphere for a much shorter period of time than longer-lived climate pollutants, like carbon dioxide (CO2)," but can have a much greater impact - tens, hundreds, or even thousands of times greater in impact than CO2 - when measured in terms of how they heat the atmosphere.   

Black carbon is a component of fine particulate matter, an air pollutant identified as a leading environmental risk factor for premature death. It is produced from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and biomass burning, particularly from older diesel engines and forest fires. 

The Cleaner Air Partnership supports cost-effective air quality improvement incentives, such as those for wood smoke reduction, that protect our region's health and promote economic growth. The Partnership's policy priorities for 2016 include improving transit to reduce congestion and improve air quality; and investing in forest health to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire and to promote economic development.
Talks Draw Private Sector Support for Climate Action 

The lead-up to climate talks in Paris last month saw private sector support on multiple fronts. The American Business Act on Climate Pledge was signed by 81 companies that collectively have operations in all 50 U.S. states, employ over 9 million people, represent more than $3 trillion in annual revenue, and have a combined market capitalization of over $5 trillion.

Another call for support from business leaders came from a World Economic Forum convening of 78 chief executive officers, who authored an open letter from CEOs  to world leaders urging climate action. Major corporations represented among the signatories include recognizable name brands and industry powerhouses such Deutsche Telekom, Swiss Re, Accenture, PricewaterhouseCoopers International, IKEA Group, Microsoft, PepsiCo Inc, Schneider Electric, The Dow Chemical Company , and Toshiba Corporation.

Beyond these efforts, the call for climate action among business leaders appears to be wide-spread. A recent research report by Accenture Strategy  finds that executives "see action on climate change as an opportunity for growth and innovation that will be essential to securing competitive advantage in their industries." The research reveals that 70 percent of executives representing companies with annual revenues of more than $1bn see climate change presenting opportunities for growth and innovation for their company within the next five years. Sixty-seven percent already see a clear business case for action on climate change.

Support for private sector investment in advancing clean energy was demonstrated by the creation of a billion-dollar investment fund spearheaded by Bill Gates. Known as the Breakthrough Clean Energy Coalition, the fund will focus on early-stage investments in "potentially transformative energy systems." The fund intends to invest boldly, wisely, and broadly across a number of sectors including electricity generation and storage; transportation; industrial use; agriculture; and energy system efficiency. To further advance clean energy, private sector stakeholders have called upon jurisdictions globally to double governmental investment in clean energy innovation. The Mission Innovation Initiative, spawned as a result, intends to support this objective.

California's presence at the Paris Climate talks extended beyond Governor Jerry Brown and state law makers to include a business delegation with representation from Bank of America, Calpine and Kaiser Permanente, among a multitude of renewable energy businesses.

Further support for climate action was demonstrated as California's largest utility, PG&E declared support for the landmark global climate agreement in Paris. Said Tony Earley, Chairman, CEO and President of PG&E, "The Paris agreement is a major milestone in orchestrating a global response to the climate challenge. It sends a clear signal to business that policy makers around the world are committed to fostering a low-carbon economy."

"The Paris agreement...sends a clear signal to business that policy makers around the world are committed to fostering a low-carbon economy."
  - Tony Earley, Chairman, CEO and President, PG&E 

The Cleaner Air Partnership recognizes the critical role of the private sector in advancing innovative solutions for addressing air quality and climate change challenges that protect public health and promote economic growth. 
Air Quality and Climate Action: In Review and Yet to Come 

On December 11, 2015, the Cleaner Air Partnership met for its final quarterly luncheon of the year. The program featured three panelists ( Brendan Twohig, Twohig Consulting; Dominic Bulone, California Air Resources Board Legislative Office; and Bill Magavern, Coalition for Clean Air) who provided a review of air quality and climate policy in 2015 and hinted at what might be expected this year.
Much success was seen in 2015 in regards to clean air and climate change policy getting passed into law and/or receiving global attention on the importance of advocating for environmental rights. Of all the bills that received worthy media attention, the most influential and significant were the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015 (SB 350, De Leon) which was signed into law, and an amendment to the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (SB 32, Pavely), which was held as a 2-year bill that will see further legislative action in 2016.
Also in 2016, expect to see further debate on the investment of Cap-and-Trade auction proceeds, the development of a scoping plan defining measures for reaching the mid-term 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target, an action plan for low-carbon goods movement, and a focus on addressing short-lived climate pollutants. See  Samantha's blog for a more detailed summary of this legislative recap.

Dec 11 CAP Luncheon Panel and Chair
Brendan Twohig, Dominic Bulone, Bill Magavern and John Lane (L-R) 
Breathe California Seeks Clean Air Champions and Artists

Are you a Clean Air Champion?
Breathe California is looking for the Sacramento Region's clean air heroes. If you or someone you know does their part to promote clean air, you could be Breathe California of Sacramento - Emigrant Trails' next Clean Air Award winner!

Submitting a nomination is easy! Just click here, and answer a few questions about your (or your nominee's) clean air efforts. Winners will be celebrated at a Clean Air Awards Luncheon on May 11, 2016 where they will have opportunities to promote their efforts and business.

2016 High School Clean Air Art Contest
Breathe California of Sacramento-Emigrant Trails, in partnership with the Verge Center for the Arts, the Crocker Art Museum, and the Sacramento Air Quality Management District, is hosting its 9th Annual High School Art Contest. Visit Breathe's website or download the flyer for more details.
The Cleaner Air Partnership is a joint project of Breathe California of Sacramento-Emigrant Trails, the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce and Valley Vision to help the Sacramento Region meet clean air standards that protect health and promote economic growth.