As the world seeks to slow climate change, market-based strategies to reduce carbon in the atmosphere are increasingly in the realm of public debate. Often missing from the discussion is the fact that carbon emissions are typically accompanied by more harmful pollutants—referred to as “co-pollutants”—which have more localized impacts. Thus, depending on how and where carbon emissions are reduced, there is potential for policy efforts to slow climate change to yield “co-benefits” for public health and have a positive effect on patterns of environmental inequality.
This work explores environmental justice and health implications of policy strategies designed to achieve carbon reductions, including the market-based strategy embedded in California’s climate law, AB 32. It has engaged the environmental justice community along with researchers and other experts to discuss the implications of different climate change policies and assess their potential outcomes. Funding has been provided for this by the Hewlett, Annenberg, and Energy Foundations.
By:Ellen Kersten, UC Berkeley
Rachel Morello-Frosch, UC Berkeley
Manuel Pastor, University of Southern California
Marlene Ramos, Columbia University
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