The California Legislature will soon take up the issue of how the state should allocate the fees generated through the implementation of the state’s climate change law, AB 32. The legislature and the governor will debate how to expend fees generated from the first auctions held this year of cap and trade allowances (aka permits to emit greenhouse gases). It is estimated that between $400 million and $1 billion will be generated in 2012. All fees must be used to address climate change and meet the objectives of the AB 32.
As we noted a couple of weeks ago, Gov. Jerry Brown included in his recent budget proposal an outline of how cap and trade generated fees may be expended, including investments in sustainable agricultural activities that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is an important step forward.
To raise these issues in the legislature, CalCAN and our allies sponsored SB 237, the Agriculture Climate Benefits Act. Authored by Sen. Lois Wolk (D-Davis), the bill outlined uses of cap and trade fees to support research, technical assistance and financial incentives for agricultural practices and farming systems that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Unfortunately, the bill did not move out of Senate committee in January and was held in suspense, essentially blocking the bill from moving forward this year.
While we had hoped to keep the bill moving, we did find support in the legislature for our proposal, and we will continue to build upon this, with your help, during what will likely be a contentious budget process to determine the fate of cap and trade fees.
You can help make the case for sustainable agricultural solutions to climate change. Write your state senator and representative and ask them to support cap and trade investments in agriculture.
The message is simple: “I’m writing to express my support for a portion of cap and trade fees to go towards research, technical assistance and financial incentives for agricultural practices and farming systems that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and assist California farmers and ranchers in coping with climate change. Sustainable and organic agriculture offer some of the best solutions to sequester carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while providing environmental and health co-benefits.”
Please let us know you sent a letter. Drop us a line to: firstname.lastname@example.org.