Since California’s program launched in 2013, questions have swirled about whether cap and trade has helped or hurt people living in the shadow of the state’s largest emitters. In particular, controversy has dogged California’s cap-and-trade policy, which took effect in 2013 and regulates roughly 450 entities accounting for 85% of California’s emissions. Economists, environmentalists, and policymakers—many of them White—tout cap and trade as a cost-effective way to cut emissions while generating money for other climate initiatives. But environmental justice activists say the program has not served California’s disadvantaged communities, and particularly communities of color, where many facilities operate. In their eyes, it doesn’t do enough to address climate change and allows emitters to continue polluting the air in the meantime.
By Julia Rosen. Yes!. November 20, 2020.