Carbon Pricing, Co-Pollutants, and Climate Policy: Evidence from California

The impact of California's cap-and-trade program for carbon emissions on local air pollution has long been a topic of heated debate.  Environmental justice advocates feared that the program would not only fail to redress the disproportionate exposure of low-income communities and people of color to air pollution, but could exacerbate environmental disparities. Cap-and-trade proponents argued that reducing overall carbon emissions would translate, more or less automatically, into local air quality benefits.  James Boyce and Michael Ash of PERI review the evidence and find that the concerns of California's environmental justice advocates have been warranted.   

>> Read Boyce/Ash perspective here.
>> Read the evidence assembled by California-based researchers here.

The impact of California's cap-and-trade program for carbon emissions on local air pollution has been a topic of heated debate since before the program went into effect in 2012. Environmental justice advocates feared that the program would not only fail to redress the disproportionate exposure of low-income communities and people of color to air pollution, but could exacerbate environmental disparities. Cap-and-trade proponents argued that reducing overall carbon emissions would translate, more or less automatically, into local air quality benefits just about everywhere. In the current issue of PLOS Medicine, James Boyce and Michael Ash, co-directors of PERI's Corporate Toxics Information Project, review the first evidence-based study of the program's initial impacts. The verdict: California's environmental justice advocates were right to be worried.

This is an official web page
of the University of Massachusetts.

Political Economy Research Institute

Gordon Hall, 418 N. Pleasant St., Suite A

Amherst, MA 01002
Tel: 413-545-6355 Fax: 413-577-0261
Contact: