What the Experts Told Us at Our 2nd Climate & Clean Air Initiative Zoomposium

We've been meeting with California's climate and clean air experts in order to undertstand where the state is in regard to goals for reducing climate and air pollution, what the state needs to ensure we meet or exceed these goals, and whether our proposed climate and clean air funding initiative could raise the money needed to accelerate our progress.

Unfortunately, we are not alone in questioning whether we are on track to meet or exceed California’s climate and clean air goals, which include:

  • The SB 32 target to reduce emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030;
  • Gov. Newsom’s Executive Order that all sales of light-duty cars and trucks be zero-emission by 2035, all off-road vehicles and equipment sales be zero emission by 2035 “where feasible,” and all medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sales be zero-emission by 2045 “where feasible”;
  • The California Air Resources Board (CARB) first-in-the-world mandate, the Advanced Clean Trucks Rule, requires manufacturers to sell zero-emission trucks as an increasing percentage of sales starting in 2024. By 2035, 55% of all light-duty truck sales must be zero-emission and 75% of all medium- and heavy-duty truck sales must be zero-emission, and by 2045 every truck sold in California must be zero-emission.
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Transit is the Future! Long Live Transit!

Transit ridership has plummeted all over the U.S. in the wake of COVID, and experts agree $32 billion is needed to keep trains and buses moving. While the COVID relief package being debated in Congress is likely to include some funding for transit, it’s not likely to be anywhere near that amount.

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We Continue to Meet with Climate & Clean Air Experts

In the words of Nick Josefowitz, chief of policy at our Northern California partner organization SPUR, this is the Zoom call you want to listen to if you believe that we can do something about climate change, climate justice, dirty air that is killing Californians, and the wildfires that are devastating our community.

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TUESDAY: Join Us, Elected Officials, Agency, Business & Labor Leaders, Environmentalists & Other Important Advocates

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As most of you probably know, public transit is in deep trouble because of the pandemic, because ridership and the revenues used to fund transit operations are greatly diminished in the aftermath of COVID. (El programa será interpretado al español.)

Experts agree that $32 billion is needed to keep this country’s trains and buses moving. While the COVID relief package being debated in Congress is likely to include some funding for transit agencies and their riders, it’s not likely to be anywhere near that amount.

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An Extraordinary Opportunity to Dramatically Reduce GHGs and Air Pollution

You might ask why, in our work to clean the air and curb climate change, have we chosen to focus on the transportation sector? It’s because transportation—cars, trucks, buses, trains, ships, planes, and off-road equipment—is responsible for more than half of California’s climate pollution (when emissions from oil refineries are taken into consideration), 80% of smog-forming pollution, and 95% of toxic diesel emissions.

The transportation sector is, as Governor Gavin Newsom said in September when he announced his Executive Order to reduce demand for fossil fuels used in transportation, “the most impactful step our state can take to fight climate change.”

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What Do These Climate Experts Think About Our Climate and Clean Air Initiative?

As you may know, Move CA (a project of Move LA) is working with our Northern California partner SPUR on the California Climate and Clean Air Initiative. We are convening discussions with California’s climate and clean air advocates and experts, with the goal of identifying a major new public funding source to invest in strategies that will ensure maximum and accelerated reductions in transportation emissions, both air pollution and greenhouse gases. We believe a statewide ballot measure is a viable option to achieve this goal. Visit the Climate and Clean Air Initiative website to learn more about, and follow, this effort. 

 

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California's Leadership in the Fight Against Climate Change is Ready to Lift Off!



CA's leadership in the fight against climate change is ready to lift off! Join us at one of the launching pads:

On Thursday, Dec. 3, 10-11:30 a.m.

The California Climate and Clean Air Initiative invites you to join with us and a panel of experts as they tell us about exciting progress in the development of zero-emission vehicles and other technologies that will help us clean our air and end climate change!

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Where Do We Really Stand In Terms of Reaching CA's Climate & Clean Air Goals?

Climate change is a confounding problem requiring a global solution. California is a global climate leader, but where do we really stand in terms of reaching our state's climate and clean air goals? 

The truth is that we are falling short. Even with funding from the Cap-and-Trade Program we do not have the resources we need to get there.

This is why Move CA (a project of Move LA) and northern California partner SPUR have begun talking with climate leaders, advocates and experts about developing a statewide ballot measure to provide a major new funding source to invest in emission reductions. 

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT OUR FUNDING INITIATIVE ON OUR NEW CLIMATE AND CLEAN AIR CAMPAIGN WEBSITE.

MOVE CA AND SPUR ARE EXPLORING PRIORITIES FOR THIS FUNDING INITIATIVE BY GATHERING FEEDBACK FROM CLIMATE LEADERS AND EXPERTS. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR OUR CLIMATE AND CLEAN AIR ZOOMPOSIUM #2 WITH CLIMATE EXPERTS ON DEC. 3, 10-11:30 A.M.

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Move LA Speaks with Metro Chief of Staff Nadine Lee: Fareless Transit and Much More!

Move LA spoke with Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (Metro) Chief of Staff Nadine Lee in October 2020 about the state of public transportation in Los Angeles County. We spoke about fareless transit, recovery of public transit and public transit funding, the NextGen Bus Plan, Bus Rapid Transit, and active transportation. The interview lasted close to an hour! 

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Question 1: Metro CEO Phil Washington has proposed a fareless system and set up a Fareless System Initiative Task Force to explore options. This is a shift from the thinking of Metro just a few months ago. What do you attribute this shift in thinking to?

First, we believe we have a moral obligation to LA residents to pursue a fareless system to help our region recover from the pandemic and the increasing lack of affordability in the region. For example, 69% of Metro riders are low or extremely low income, and fare evasion penalties disproportionately impact low-income riders. Housing and transportation are the two biggest expenses for most households. If we can eliminate one of those big expenses, imagine how much that would help low-income families. A fareless system will help promote social equity and expand economic opportunities, especially for our low-income riders.

In terms of the change in thinking, several things have happened over the last few years. One, we have started to think more broadly about what we're trying to accomplish as an agency and a community, rather than just delivering the status quo. We've also been asked to provide discounts or free fares for a variety of different populations. So, instead of approaching this fareless concept as “death by a thousand cuts,” we think there is value in looking more comprehensively at what it would take to go fareless in the context of everything else we are trying to do. We also have so many people out there trying to hold on economically, while fear of COVID keeps people from conducting normal business in the course of their daily lives.

To put things in perspective, Metro collected on the order of $300 million annually in fare revenue, pre-COVID. Now, with rear-door boarding on our buses to protect everyone during the pandemic, we aren’t collecting much farebox revenue at all. We already make fares free on Election Day and Earth Day. Combined with all of the discounts we offer to specific populations, the entire approach becomes very piecemeal and reactionary. Instead, in the last few years, we've really tried to focus on making policy decisions based on the broader outcomes we are trying to achieve and not just piecemealing things together. We want to be more thoughtful about what we're trying to accomplish and use outcomes-based thinking as our guide to how we set policy and implement our programs. 

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Hardwiring a Commitment to Equity in Our Proposed CA Climate & Clean Air Initiative

The scare from the worsening fire season on the West Coast (and in other parts of the world) combined with hurricanes in the east has sensitized many people to the fact that the climate emergency is here. Last week we told you Move LA is launching a statewide effort as Move CA, and with our Northern California partner SPUR are investigating the idea of putting a "California Climate and Clean Air Initiative" on the November 2022 ballot.

 

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