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California Workforce Development Board Submits Report On Economic Equity, Climate Resilience

The California Workforce Development Board today submitted a new report to the California Legislature to guide the state’s transition to a carbon-neutral economy.   

The report is mandated by Assembly Bill 398, the California Global Warming Solutions Act.

It presents recommendations on how to transition the state off of fossil fuels and towards clean energy while supporting workers.

Carol Zabin, Director of the Green Economy Program at the UC Berkeley Labor Center, is the report’s lead author. She says it’s meant to act as a roadmap as the state intervenes in the economy to enact climate goals.

“The report looks at those policies in all the sectors that are impacted by our plan, our plan to reduce emissions, and asks the question, 'How can we support working families as the state makes this big intervention into the economy to lower our greenhouse gas emissions?' So, it looks at energy, transportation, manufacturing, waste, agriculture, etc., and it says, 'How can we make sure that the jobs that stick around or even grow due to this climate policy are good jobs?'" says Zabin.

Zabin says the report’s suggestions have special importance here in the Inland Empire, which is home to a lot of what she calls “low-road economic development.”

“In other words," Zabin says, "lots of growth in low-wage jobs, but also lots of growth in pollution, both local pollution and greenhouse gas, global warming pollution. It's grown up with sprawl, and a logistics industry that really hasn't internalized the costs of its pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. And also has produced a lot of low-wage jobs. So, what our report does is look at the policy levers that you can do to begin to reduce those trends.”

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