California's Governor, Jerry Brown, signs an air pollution bill. Photo credit: California Air Resources Board

Award Category

Outstanding Policy


California has put the most comprehensive and strongest set of targets for reducing short-lived climate pollutant emissions into state law, and has developed a detailed plan to meet these targets. Targeted levels for 2030 emissions, compared to 2013 levels, include: 50% reduction in black carbon emissions, 40% reduction in methane emissions, and 40% reduction in hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) emissions.

The work of the California Air Resources Board and State Legislature, under the leadership of Governor Edmund Gerald Brown Jr, to reduce short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs, also known as super-pollutants) has created an enabling environment for clean energy industries and businesses to flourish.

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed California Senate Bill (SB 1383) last year, establishing the US’s toughest restrictions on SLCPs including black carbon, fluorinated gases and methane. This bill curbs these dangerous pollutants and thereby protects public health and slows climate change.

Short-lived climate pollutants are a major contributor to the public health crisis caused by air pollution, and local and subnational governments can take action to reduce dangerous emissions. California is seizing this moment to work with agriculture and businesses, create jobs and clean the air of SLCPs in the same way the leaders of earlier generations worked together to build one of the biggest economies in the world.

California has shown that these actions not only protect the environment and human health but are also good for business. California represents what fast action on climate change looks like and the enabling environment its policies have created is driving innovation in clean energy and green technology.

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