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Funding a Clean and Equitable Energy Transition: How Lessons from California Can Inform Key Climate Governance Questions

Climate Justice California Climate Energy Environmental Justice

Adopting climate justice goals is one thing; how, when, and where they’re implemented is another. California has a long track record in funding a clean energy transition and, more particularly, in funding a transition to benefit under-resourced communities suffering from a legacy of concentrated pollution.

As California, other states, and the federal government continue to invest in a clean energy transition, they confront central governance questions: Who decides what gets funded? Who decides how to relay that funding? Who participates? Who benefits?

In this March 26 webinar, we presented key findings from our November 2023 report series and highlighted lessons about what drives agency decisions and the equity and efficacy of the state’s funding processes. Jessie Buendia from joined us to discuss how California’s experience and institutional landscape can inform emerging state and federal programs to achieve an equitable clean energy transition.

Slide decks from this webinar:

Our Panelists

  • Alice Kaswan, Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco and a CPR member scholar, is a nationally recognized expert on climate and environmental justice and recently co-authored our report series on California’s climate funding programs.
  • Jessica “Jessie” Buendia is the Vice President of Sustainability at Dream.Org and Green for All National Director, where she advocates for state and federal environmental investments that address both poverty and pollution. As the former Deputy and Acting Executive Director at the California Strategic Growth Council (SGC), Jessie helped develop transformative place-based and community-driven infrastructure investments that are recognized as “gold standard” models for federal initiatives.
  • Catalina Gonzalez (Moderator) is a Policy Analyst at the Center for Progressive Reform. With Alice Kaswan, she recently co-authored our report series on California’s climate funding programs. Previously, Catalina worked with community-based nonprofits in southern California leading advocacy, community engagement, and capacity-building efforts.

Additional Resources

Climate Justice California Climate Energy Environmental Justice