Skip to main content

Report: Climate Change Rules Boost Economy In Central Valley

This undated file photo released by the California Department of Water Resour...

Photo by California Department of Water Resources

Above: This undated file photo released by the California Department of Water Resources shows water making its way south through the Central Valley by way of the California Aqueduct.

A study finds that California's climate-friendly policies have created a $13 billion economic boost to the Central Valley's economy.

A study finds that California's climate-friendly policies have created a $13 billion economic boost to the Central Valley's economy.

The report, commissioned by the nonpartisan group Next 10, finds climate change policies in California have helped, not hurt, the region's economy.

Next 10 founder Noel Perry said the study focused on three areas: the state's air pollution cap-and-trade credit program, the state's renewable energy goals and California's energy efficiency programs.

Researchers found the biggest boost came from renewable energy.

"Between 2002 and 2015, construction on renewable energy projects resulted in approximately an $11 billion boost in total economic output in the valley," Perry said.

There's been a lot of discussion about the climate change policies, Perry said, but few facts. The report takes an objective look at the impact on the region.

"There's a lot of interest and conversation about the climate policies. And we thought the San Joaquin Valley, as a bellwether, would be a good place to look at the hard data to see what the concrete results are," Perry said.

The study suggests more can be done with energy efficiency programs. It also recommends that spending tied to the state's cap-and-trade pollution credit program can be improved.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.