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The UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation convened 150 leaders in government, nonprofits, academia and the private sector on March 21, 2014 for a workshop designed to advance climate action in disadvantaged communities. California’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund is expected to generate tens of billions of dollars over the next decade to mitigate climate change and create local benefits. Senate Bill 535 (de León) requires that 25 percent of these monies go to projects that provide benefits to disadvantaged communities in California.

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Workshop Goal:

Inform and support the State’s planning and implementation of strategic investments from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to maximize co-benefits of GHG reducing projects in, for, and with disadvantaged communities.

Workshop Objectives:
  • Advance evaluative criteria and performance metrics to help the State make strategic investment decisions with the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund specifically in, for and with disadvantaged communities.
  • Apply the criteria and metrics to programs. The intent is two-fold: 1) to ground truth the criteria and metrics, allowing for further refinement of the criteria and metrics as needed, and 2) to reveal what is known and unknown (i.e. data gaps) about estimated and actual program performance.
  • Make specific recommendations for how programs could be implemented, used and perhaps even modified or augmented to maximize benefits to disadvantaged communities.

The primary focus is to advance a process for guiding smart and equitable investments in disadvantaged communities for the length of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction. Secondarily, the workshop could inform other funds that target disadvantaged communities. While not the focus, some of our recommendations will certainly have relevance for how the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund moneys are spent outside of disadvantaged communities.