CLIMATE CHANGE: The Zoom Series

California's Decade of Decision

 

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When California leads the world soon follows! It's already happening with our zero-emission cars and clean trucks programs. But we must move faster and make the change bigger, so we’re talking with the leaders responsible for formulating California's world-leading climate strategies over the past decade, and with key environmental and environmental justice advocates, to discuss a possible statewide ballot measure to finish cleaning our air and help roll back climate change, and to significantly reduce greenhouse gases and short-lived climate pollutants (black carbon, methane, ozone and hydrofluorocarbons or HFCs) with:

  • Mary Nichols, formerly Chair, California Air Resources Board
  • Kevin De Leon, LA City Councilmember-elect and former CA State Senate President Pro Tempore
  • Senator Nancy Skinner, CA Senate Majority Whip; former International Director of ICLEI—Local Governments for Sustainability/Cities for Climate Protection Program
  • Senator Fran Pavley (ret.), author of AB 32 and SB 32, California's landmark legislation to fight climate change and Environmental Policy Leader of the USC Schwarzenegger Institute
  • Terry Tamminen, Former Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency under Gov. Schwarzenegger and President of 7th Generation Advisors
  • Randall Winston, Former Executive Director, Strategic Growth Council
  • Alvaro Sanchez, Environmental Equity Director, Greenlining Institute
  • Chanell Fletcher, ?????Executive Director, Climate Plan
  • Bill Magavern, Policy Director, Coalition for Clean Air
  • Chione Flegal, Managing Director, PolicyLink
  • Mary Creasman, CEO, California League of Conservation Voters 

 

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For years we thought CO2 was the most powerful driver of climate change. We were wrong.  It is just the most abundant. The more powerful gases are short-lived climate pollutants or SLCPs—aka super pollutants—such as methane, black carbon, ozone and HFCs. Methane is almost 80 times more powerful than CO2! And while SLCPs are less abundant than CO2 they drive more than 40% of all global warming, and until recently received little attention. Now we know: Reducing SLCPs is our biggest opportunity to stall, even abate, climate change! The  good news: SLCPs decay much faster than CO2. 

  • Eduardo Garcia, California State Assemblymember and CARB Board Member
  • Dr. Veerabhadran Ramanathan, Distingished Professor of Climate and Atmospheric Sciences at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego
  • Kip Lipper, Chief Advisor, Energy and Environment, Office of the California State Senate pro Tempore
  • Julia Levin, California Bioenergy Association
  • Sydney Chamberlin, Nature Conservancy
  • Coby Skye, Los Angeles County Department of Public Works
  • Shayda Azamian, Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability
  • Dan Jacobson, Environment California
  • Lauren Sanchez, California Environmental Protection Agency

 

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Our goods movement system has long been dominated by diesel technologies, which drive the engines in trucks, buses, trains, ships, and off-road equipment. Trucks alone emit nearly a third of smog-forming nitrogen oxides and more than a quarter of diesel particulate matter, and ocean-going ships are expected to surpass trucks to become the largest source of NOx in the state by 2023. But while that’s the bad news there is also some good news: Solutions are emerging, and we can and must help accelerate their adoption—zero-emission batteries and/or hydrogen could completely displace diesel engines. 

  • Marc Carell, President/CEO, Breathe SoCal
  • Chris Chavez, Deputy Policy Director, Coalition for Clean Air
  • Marisa Garcia, Administrative Manager, Move LA
  • Matt Miyasato, Deputy Executive Officer, Science and Technology Advancement, South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD)
  • Marven Norman, Policy Coordinator, Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ)
  • Madeline Rose, Climate Campaign Director, Pacific Environment
  • Kevin Walkowicz, Senior Director, Truck and Off-Road Initiative, Calstart

 

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The driving range of battery electric trucks, especially the heavy-duty long-haul trucks that deliver goods to every state across the country, requires frequent stops for charging—which still takes a long time—and there's very little charging infrastructure for long-haul carriers in place. And while lithium-ion batteries have improved the driving range, these batteries are very heavy and take up a lot of space on a truck. These issues also challenge the use of electric batteries for both ships and trains. Hydrogen fuels used in long-haul trucks as well as on ships and trains may be better able to serve this sector of the vehicle marketplace because hydrogen fuel cells have a longer range, require less fueling time, and are much lighter than batteries. 

  • Chanell Fletcher, Deputy Executive Director of Environmental Justice, California Air Resources Board
  • Eric Hoffman, President, Utility Workers Union of America, Local 132 
  • Dr. Sunita Satyapal, Director, Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Cliff Gladstein, President, Gladstein, Neandross & Associates (GNA)
  • Madadh MacLaine, Founder and Secretary General of Zero Emissions Maritime Technology Association
  • Michelle Sim, Director of Sustainability, Southern California Gas
  • Assemblymember Bill Quirk, California State Assembly, former climate change scientist at NASA
  • Brian Goldstein, Executive Director, Energy Independence Now

 

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The world is changing because of climate change, not to mention increasing air pollution, and California is not faring very well so far. But we do have a jump on everywhere else in the USA when it comes to zero-emission vehicles and good regulations that define the path forward. We've got a long way to go, however, and need the rest of the world to come along—indeed other countries are leading the pack right now. So let's keep talking and spread the word about what we must do in order to curb climate change and clean the air. 

  • Ray Wolfe, Executive Director of the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority
  • Madeline Rose, Climate Campaign Director at Pacific Environment
  • Jesse Marquez, founder of the Coalition for a Safe Environment
  • Lawrence McCormack, Director of State Government Relations for Cummins 
  • Peter Chen, a mechanical engineer with the California Energy Commission
  • Bob Schlatter, Senior Executive at World Energy 
  • Dr. Joseph Pratt, CEO and CTO of Zero Emission Industries
  • Dave Cook, Chief Technology Officer at Rail Propulsion System

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The California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Advanced Clean Truck Rule requires truck manufacturers to aggressively expand their zero-emission truck fleetslikely to be powered by electric batteries and/or hydrogen fuel cells. Governor Newsom’s Executive Order says no cars powered by fossil fuels will be sold in California after 2035! And there will be an ever-expanding fleet of zero-emission cars until then! As a result of this progress, every vehicle technology and most equipment will soon have zero-emission options as well—even trains, ships, boats and aircraft. And what is not zero-emission will be the cleanest available technology. With:

  • Rajinder Sahota, Assistant Division Chief of the Industrial Strategies Division at the California Air Resources Board 
  • Steven Cliff, Deputy Executive Officer at the California Air Resources Board
  • Matt Miyasato, Deputy Executive Officer for Science & Technology Advancement at the South Coast Air Quality Management District
  • John Boesel, President & CEO of CALSTART 
  • Dawn Wilson, Director of Environmental Affairs and Sustainability at Southern California Edison until recently
  • Kevin Maggay, Program Manager at SoCalGas 
  • Todd Campbell, VP of Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs for Clean Energy Fuels and on the Board of Directors of the Coalition for Clean Air
  • Raj Dhillon, Senior Manager of Advocacy & Public Policy for Breathe Southern California 
  • Susana Reyes, Sierra Club Executive Board, Co-Lead of the Clean Transportation for All campaign, and on the Board of Commissioners of LADWP

 

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We have to reduce short-lived climate pollutants or SLCPs, otherwise known as super pollutants. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change calls SLCPs “near-term climate forcers”: greenhouse gases and other climate pollutants that have short atmospheric lifetimes compared to CObut per molecule have a much stronger warming effect than CO2. This means that reducing them has a stronger impact on near-term warming. In fact, reducing SLCPs could slow the planet’s warming by about half a degree by 2050! We'll be talking with these SLCP, climate and clean air experts: 

  • Veerabhadran Ramanathan, Distinguished Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC-San Diego (and Pope Francis' climate scientist!)
  • David Doniger, Senior Strategic Director, Climate and Clean Energy Program, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Ryan McCarthy, formerly Science and Technology Policy Advisory to the California Air Resources Board, now with the Weideman Group
  • Ilissa Ocko, Senior Climate Scientist, Barbra Streisand Chair of Environmental Studies, the Environmental Defense Fund 
  • Chanell Fletcher, Deputy Executive Director for Environmental Justice at the California Air Resources Board
  • Jason Anderson, Director of Governance, Diplomacy and Super Pollutants at ClimateWorks
  • Jerilyn Mendoza, Regional Organizer, The Climate Center 
  • Coby Skye, Assistant Deputy Director, LA County Department of Public Works

 

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There were 10 million electric cars on the world’s roads in 2020 with battery electric models driving the expansion. Experts believe zero-emission cars, SUVs and trucks will soon dominate the light-duty vehicle market. But most air pollution and greenhouse gases are emitted by diesel-powered trucks, off-road vehicles, trains, ships, aircraft, port and construction equipment. Can these vehicles be powered by electric batteries? Now there's minimal charging infrastructure in place to support heavy-duty battery-electric long-haul trucks and off-road vehicles. Can vehicle manufacturers significantly ramp up production in time to avoid a 1.5°C increase above pre-industrial levels? With:

  • Gideon Kracov, California Air Resources Board/South Coast Air Quality Management District Governing Board Member
  • Dean Taylor, President, Dean Taylor Consulting; former Southern California Edison Senior Scientist
  • Niki Okuk, Alternative Fuels Program Manager, CALSTART
  • Jack Symington, Program Manager for Transportation, Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI)
  • Lisa Arellanes, Senior Manager, Business Development & Partnerships, eMobility, Southern California Edison
  • Joe Sullivan, Director of Energy Solutions, IBEW-NECA

 

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We need climate-friendly travel to get us from city to city around California, and both the public and private sectors are exploring ways to take cars off the road. We need solutions that not only get us around but also continue to power our economy, provide good paying jobs, and address the devastating health impacts of diesel pollution, wildfires and oil spills. This requires the adoption of new transportation options—some powered by electric batteries or hydrogen. 

  • Darwin Moosavi, Deputy Secretary for Environmental Policy and Housing Coordination at California’s State Transportation Agency (CalSTA)
  • Ben Porritt, Senior VP of Brightline “a private sector rail solution to a public need” 
  • Pierre Gourdain, CEO of FlixBus USA
  • LaDonna DiCamillo, Southern California Regional Director of the state’s High Speed Rail Project
  • Jeffrey Dunn, Director of Government and Community Relations for Metrolink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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