California Governor signs two bills to strengthen emission standard for trucks; Executive Order leverages $700B portfolio to strengthen climate resiliency
California Governor Gavin Newsom signed two bills to strengthen emission standards for trucks, semis and other high-pollution vehicles. The Governor also issued an executive order directing the leveraging of the state’s $700-billion CalPERS, CalSTRS and UC Retirement Program portfolio to drive investment toward carbon-neutral technologies. The order also directs the California Air Resources Board (ARB) to push automakers to produce even more clean vehicles, and to find ways for more Californians to purchase these vehicles on the new and used markets.
CARB is tasked with developing new grant criteria for clean vehicle programs to encourage manufacturers to produce clean, affordable cars and propose new strategies to increase demand in the primary and secondary markets for zero emission vehicles. Finally, CARB is to strengthen existing or to adopt new regulations to achieve greenhouse gas reductions within the transportation sector.
Truck emissions. SB 210 by Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino) requires the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to develop and implement a Heavy-Duty Inspection and Maintenance Program for non-gasoline, heavy-duty trucks—the first ‘smog check’ program of its kind in the nation.
SB 44 by Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) requires CARB to create a comprehensive plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.
Medium and heavy-duty diesel trucks make up only four percent of the 28.2 million vehicles on the road in California but accounted for 20% of greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector and 8% of statewide greenhouse gas emissions this year.
Executive order. Other elements of the executive order include:
State Investments: California has an investment portfolio of more than $700 billion through CalPERS, CalSTRs, and the University of California Retirement System. As the state transitions to a carbon-neutral economy, and as other states and countries increasingly adopt ambitious climate policy, the state’s investments must align with the reality of this major market shift.
The Governor’s executive order directs the Department of Finance to create a Climate Investment Framework to measure and manage climate risk across the state’s investment portfolio, with the goal of driving investment toward carbon-neutral and climate resilient technologies.
The Framework will provide a timeline and criteria to shift investments to companies and industry sectors that have greater growth potential based on their focus of adapting to and mitigating the impacts of climate change, including investments in carbon-neutral, carbon-negative and clean energy technologies.
Transportation Systems: The California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) is directed to invest its annual portfolio of $5 billion toward construction, operations and maintenance to help reverse the trend of increased fuel consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with the transportation sector.
CalSTA, in consultation with the Department of Finance, is also directed to align transportation spending, programming and mitigation with the state’s climate goals to achieve the objectives of the state’s Climate Change Scoping Plan, where feasible. Specifically the Governor is ordering a focus for transportation investments near housing, and on managing congestion through innovative strategies that encourage alternatives to driving.
State Assets and Operations: California owns and manages major physical assets through the Department of General Services (DGS), including 19 million square feet of buildings and more than 51,000 vehicles. California is also a major purchaser of products across its agencies. With this executive order, the Governor is directing DGS to identify opportunities to lower emissions and mitigate climate risk from the state’s owned and leased assets, primarily buildings and vehicles, and to implement sustainable purchasing policies across state agencies that prioritize the purchase of environmentally preferable goods, consistent with state climate policies.