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California 100 Releases State Comparisons, Sustainability, and Equity Reports

California’s Energy, Water, and Climate Change Problems

Reports Offer In-depth Analysis And Foresight Considerations For The Future Of Sustainability and Equity In California As Well As A Comparative Assessment Of The State’s Performance Against Other U.S. States

California 100 released three reports today that provide analyses and insights for building a future for California that is equitable and inclusive, sustainable and resilient, and able to secure California’s social and economic leadership when compared to other key U.S. states. Guided by California 100’s 15 policy issue reports and analyses of California’s nine regions these final three reports have been authored by Deputy Director of Research, Lindsay Maple and Director of Research Henry E. Brady. 

Explore the reports here

“California’s strengths lie in its economic and social diversity, in its vast natural resources and human capital, and its ability to reinvent itself every decade,” says Karthick Ramakrishnan, Executive Director for California 100. “At the same time, the state faces stiff challenges ranging from climate change to growing economic inequality and competition from other states. These reports should be required reading for anyone who wants to make sure that California maintains its national and global leadership, now and for decades to come.”

“As America faces challenges from climate change and an increasingly diverse society, these reports show that California has been leading the way and finding solutions to hard problems,” says Henry E. Brady, Director of Research for California 100. 

This report compares California’s current policy landscape with that of other states, highlighting the changes that California should consider to secure the state’s social, environmental, and economic future. The report compares California with other states that compete with it for residents and workers, including Texas, New York, Washington, Florida, and Massachusetts. It establishes benchmarks for performance across these states, and it identifies areas where California can learn from their experiences.

This report both provides an overview of the many climate challenges that California is facing as well as the state’s ongoing efforts to promote sustainability and resilience for future generations. Because of its position as a national economic hub, home to the country’s largest population, and as a consequence of its natural features, including the significant portion of land that lies along the coast, in fire-vulnerable regions, or along fault lines, California faces many environmental and sustainability challenges. California faces climate whiplash that vacillates between severe heat waves, drought, and wildfires as well as overwhelming wet seasons that result in flooding and mudslides. With snow changing to rain, California faces the loss of its snowpack and clean water supplies which are essential for its success in future decades. Although the state has identified opportunities to prepare for and reduce the impacts of these climate challenges, this report questions whether these actions will be sufficient.

This report argues that no nation or state can afford to waste its human resources because of inequities and exclusions. An equitable and inclusive state is one where all residents–regardless of their race/ethnicity, nativity, gender, income, religion, neighborhood of residence, ability, or other characteristics—are able to 1) participate and benefit from the state’s economic vitality, 2) connect to the state’s assets and resources, and 3) contribute to and benefit from the state’s successes. Highlighting the equity gaps that stem from California’s growing inequality, the report proposes that everyone can benefit from a society that nurtures all of its people’s talent and ambition.