Spend California taxpayer money in a way that helps cut the pollution that causes climate change

California’s Global Leadership

Since the passage of California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32) in 2006, the state has begun to reshape its economy, promoting clean energy and energy efficiency to support growth and prosperity. Californians have repeatedly expressed their strong support for these actions, both at the polls and in their personal decisions. Per capita energy use and carbon emissions in California are among the lowest in the U.S.

In 2013, as a part of the state’s effort to combat climate change, California’s 800 largest industrial facilities began tracking, reporting, and reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. The state’s climate pollution reduction regulations motivate these businesses to invest to reduce emissions..

But there’s a gap in this approach. As the 6th largest economy in the world, California still uses a substantial portion of its $170 billion in annual state revenues to purchase goods and services that produce high levels of climate pollution. Californians overwhelming prefer a clean economy and the state can act to close this gap.

In 2016, a coalition of labor and environmental groups initiated Buy Clean California to advance policies that make sure California’s procurement processes for infrastructure support California’s goals to reduce climate change pollution.

California will be in good company as it moves to leverage its purchasing power to reduce climate pollution. The US Navy is already using its $170-billion budget to encourage contractors to cut their overall output of climate-changing pollution. Closer to home, major California companies like Apple, Google, Chevron, PG&E, CalPERS and others are already addressing their in-house and supply chain emissions, and are asking companies they work with and invest in to do the same.

Buy Clean California will help ensure that as the Golden State continues to lead on climate action, it spends a growing share of its taxpayers’ funds on climate-friendly options.

A Logical Step to Address Climate Change

Level the Playing Field and Spread Best Practices

To “Buy Clean” means to spend California taxpayer money in a way that helps cut the pollution that causes climate change. It means that suppliers’ emissions performance will be taken into account when an agency is contracting to buy cement, steel, asphalt, flat glass and manufacture wool (insulation) for infrastructure projects.

Manufacturers who operate the most polluting plants, and charge less for their products, will no longer have an advantage over manufacturers who have invested in reducing their pollution. By including suppliers’ emissions performance in procurement decisions, the state can influence business decisions among the many suppliers who want to provide goods to public agencies.

The Buy Clean approach allows California to help clean businesses and industries maintain their position as strong, global leaders on climate action. It creates additional motivation for suppliers to reduce their climate pollution. The state’s substantial purchasing power already makes it an attractive market for firms across the United States, and around the world.