On July 21, immigrant youth and elders throughout the state of California organized a “No to Cap & Trade Day,” calling on Governor Brown to bring real solutions to climate change and to address the urgency of greenhouse gas reductions in California. Currently, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the board Chair, Mary Nichols, are championing a Cap & Trade program that will set a limit to carbon emissions in the state (aka “Cap”) and hand-out allowances or permits for trade to the highest emitters, like the Chevron Oil Refinery in Richmond, CA- in theory, an incentive for these dirty industries to reduce their emissions.
Cap & Trade was attempted in the European Union and GHG’s actually went up in more than 25 countries. Furthermore, Cap & Trade creates another layer of regulation- on the one hand the regulation of GHG reductions. On the other hand, the regulation of the market that is created with the emission permits. To paint a grimmer picture in CA, the CARB has no experience regulating such a market. The state of CA would be investing millions of dollars into a program that makes empty promises to the communities that are in desperate need of these reductions. Communities like Wilmington, CA- home to some of the oldest and largest oil refineries in the state and just southwest of Downtown LA.
“The Wilmington area in California is refinery-central for the state, ” said Alicia Rivera, Community Organizer with Communities for a Better Environment. “We get most of the greenhouse gases and toxic pollution, but Cap and Trade doesn’t require any cuts here. The same injustice is happening in other communities of color throughout the state with no advantage to anybody, since cap and trade doesn’t even work internationally. We want the real, available alternatives to be put into regulations required right here, to reduce asthma, cancer risk, climate change, and build our green economy in California.”
July 21, 2011 No to Cap and Trade Day Video
The impacts Cap & Trade will have on low-income and people of color in California has sparked a movement in the state to bring Cap & Trade to a permanent stand-still and bring the vital stakeholders- low-income and people of color communities and Governor Brown- to the table to work together to implement economically feasible programs throughout the state to reduce greenhouse gases and pollution in communities most affected by the dirty industries this generation has inherited. Youth throughout the state are sharing their vision for a cleaner, greener, sustainable California, one that regenerates the economy and brings the jobs they will need as they become adults. The immigrant youth and elders who are championing for climate justice in California are coordinated and organized. Through their campaign, Communities Rising for Real Solutions, or CoRReSol, they are watching the CARB’s every move. They plan to continue holding the CARB accountable to their communities at a CARB hearing in Sacramento on August 24, 2011 and until California is fully transitioned into renewable energy.
Communities Rising for Real Solutions, CoRReSol, is a joint campaign of Communities for a Better Environment, a statewide environmental justice organization, and The Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment, an organization dedicated to helping grassroots groups across California address the disproportionate burden of pollution borne by poor people and people of color.