Weighing in on guidance for cap-and-trade revenue

Last week, over twenty advocates – including the National Partnership – attended workshops across the state to give input on the concept paper for the second investment plan and the draft funding guidelines for agencies administering California’s climate investments. Both of these documents are important if we want to increase walking and bicycling and promote social equity statewide: The concept paper is the first step to developing a three-year investment plan for the Greenhouse Gas Emission Fund (GGRF). The concept paper will eventually become the three-year investment plan that the Legislature will use to determine future investments from GGRF in the state budget. And the funding guidelines provide direction for the vast number of State agencies, local transit agencies, and academic institutions that oversee funds from the GGRF.

For the concept paper, the National Partnership offered the following recommendations:

  • All transportation investments should contribute to climate, equity, and health goals: Ensure that all of California’s transportation investments, especially new investments, contribute to achieving California’s climate, equity, and health goals.
  • Discuss the implications of additional funding to the Active Transportation Program (ATP): Provide information to shows how additional funding to the ATP could be invested in larger grants that increase walk and bicycle network connectivity, provide safe routes to school, and improve neighborhood mobility.
  • Integration should be at the forefront: Discuss in-depth the need for California to achieve greater greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions and co-benefits through integration of sectors and strategies.
  • Provide a robust analysis of the Needs: Both the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) Program and the Active Transportation Program (ATP) suffer from oversubscription due to the high need for these funding sources.
  • Expand Co-Benefits to show the many benefits from sustainable communities: The co-benefits from investments in sustainable communities go far beyond air quality and public health. Expand the co-benefits section to highlight safety, environment, and transportation benefits.
  • Protect against unhealthy land uses in residential communities: Include measures that will protect communities from harm.  Direct investment into projects and methodologies that reduce harm to communities.

For the draft funding guidelines, the National Partnership recommended the following:

  • Ensure a Meaningful and Robust Public Process: Prioritize community engagement and strengthen public participation for disadvantaged communities.
  • Expand GGRF Funds to include planning activities that will lead to projects that reduce GHG: Invest GGRF Funds in pilot projects that reduce GHG and elevate best practices.
  • Maximize GGRF Co-Benefits to Disadvantaged Residents and Communities: Increase housing and transit opportunities and provide robust technical assistance to disadvantaged communities.
  • GGRF Investments Should Not Directly or Indirectly Harm Disadvantaged Communities: Zero Emission Vehicles in DACs does not provide a meaningful benefit. Half mile proximity and zip codes as a proxies for benefit to disadvantaged communities is inadequate

Safe Routes to School National Partnership will continue to work with our partners to provide input to ensure that the investment plan and funding guidelines increase opportunities to fund and support active transportation and promote social equity. Keep checking our blog for more updates on this!

Comments were due on Friday, August 14th for the funding guidelines. However, the comment period is still open for the concept paper! Click here to submit comments – all written comments are due on September 1st.

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