The San Joaquin Valley is reaping more than $13 billion in economic benefits from California’s climate change policies, according to the first comprehensive academic cost-benefit study.
The report shows that California’s renewable energy requirements for investor-owned utilities gave the San Joaquin Valley the biggest economic boost. Construction and operation of renewable energy projects have created 31,000 jobs since 2002. The state’s cap-and-trade policies that reduce carbon emissions were also examined.
“Specifically cap and trade contributed $119 million in direct economic benefits for the valley,” says Noel Perry, founder of Next 10, a nonpartisan non-profit research group that commissioned the report.
He says researchers accounted for job losses and compliance costs but still found a net positive economic impact.
“One of the things that surprised me was the economic effects taking place so quickly after the institution of the cap-and-trade program,” says Perry.The report was conducted by UC Berkeley’s School of Law and its Center for Law, Energy and the Environment.