For Immediate Release
July 11, 2023
Robin Tung, firstname.lastname@example.org
AB 593 would direct California to create the first statewide plan to cut emissions from homes and buildings in a way that maximizes benefits for communities, workers, and industries.
Sacramento, CA – A bill authored by Assemblymember Matt Haney (D-17) directing the state to develop California’s first comprehensive plan to reduce emissions from homes and buildings in a way that supports low-income households, builds climate resilience for communities and grows high-road jobs passed out of the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee yesterday with a 14-3 vote.
“AB 593 will ensure that California has a strategy to tackle emissions from homes and buildings that aligns state programs, agencies, and funding. With AB 593 that state can advance its clean energy future while creating climate-ready homes and resilient communities, and encouraging high-road job growth. This landmark bill will benefit Californians today as well as future generations. We are grateful to Assemblymember Haney for his leadership and to the Committee members for their support,” said Jose Torres, California Director at the Building Decarbonization Coalition.
In California, homes and buildings are the second-largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions, following the transportation sector. These emissions contribute to California being home to eight of the ten most polluted cities in the nation. While the transportation sector has seen a 22% reduction in emissions over the last two decades, emissions have increased by 51% for commercial buildings and fallen by a mere 3% for residential buildings within the same time frame. Significant emissions reductions in the transportation sector have been driven by intentional policies, incentive programs, and targets. Without an overarching plan to address building emissions, the state risks falling behind in achieving the 2045 net zero greenhouse gas emissions target set in AB 1279 (Muratsuchi, 2022).
AB 593 requires the plan to prioritize low-income households and working-class communities of color who are disproportionately impacted by severe pollution. Ninety-nine percent of disadvantaged communities in both rural and urban areas do not have access to clean air, and roughly 25% of California households lack access to clean cooling. The bill will help deploy zero-emission appliances like smart ACs–or heat pumps–which provide life-saving cooling and air filtration in the face of extreme heat, polluted air, and wildfire smoke. Clean, electric appliances also reduce outdoor pollution, improving air quality in these communities.
Additionally, the bill prioritizes high-road job retention and growth for decades to come. Upgrading California’s 14 million homes and 8 billion square feet of commercial building space to run on clean energy holds significant potential for California’s workforce–supporting more than 100,000 full-time workers in the construction industry and up to 4,900 full-time manufacturing workers. AB 593 can help create a well-managed plan to ensure equity in the clean energy transition.
Next, the bill has to be passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee by September 1. If passed, AB 593 will continue to a Senate floor vote in September.
The Building Decarbonization Coalition (BDC) aligns critical stakeholders on a path to transform the nation’s buildings through clean energy, using policy, research, market development, and public engagement. The BDC and its members are charting the course to eliminate fossil fuels in buildings to improve people’s health, cut climate and air pollution, prioritize high-road jobs, and ensure that our communities are more resilient to the impacts of climate change.