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California’s climate action plans fall behind on equity, sticking instead to boilerplate solutions, new study says

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A photo of Royce Hall at UCLA.

Plans to address climate change on a local level are becoming more common in California. But how effective are they?

Many of these plans have faced criticism for not pushing for change fast enough. A recent report by University of California researchers looked at 170 climate action plans across the state to grade their effectiveness when it came to equity. The result: Researchers saw that many are falling behind. Adam Millard-Ball is an associate professor at UCLA. He worked on the report.

“Cities aren’t really getting out of their comfort zone. They don’t force the city to do something that it wasn’t already going to do," said Millard-Ball.

If cities want to make greater steps toward cutting back on emissions, Millard-Ball says that they’ll need to consider more controversial solutions. That could mean discouraging personal vehicle use or pushing for more affordable housing.

CapRadio is the NPR-member station located in Sacramento, Ca, and is a service of Sacramento State University. It serves Northern California and Western Nevada cities, including Sacramento, Reno, Stockton, Chico, Redding, and Eureka.
Manola Secaira is CapRadio’s environment and climate change reporter. Before that, she worked for Crosscut in Seattle as an indigenous Affairs reporter.