$11 Million in New Research Funding to Meet State’s Climate Goals

SACRAMENTO—On Monday, the Strategic Growth Council (SGC) voted to approve the Research Investment Plan for a new Program that will fill gaps in current research on strategies to address climate change. The Program is supported by the State’s Cap-and-Trade revenue, and invests in cross-cutting research that will facilitate greenhouse gas reductions in the State.

Ken Alex, SGC Chair and Director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research said, “This new research program focuses on gaps in scientific study, moving potential solutions more quickly to fruition, and in better responding to the challenges facing the most vulnerable communities from the worst effects of climate change as we transition our State towards a cleaner, greener economy.”

All studies funded through this unique Program must show a benefit to disadvantaged communities. Researchers must engage a range of partners to ensure that the outcomes of the research will have meaningful impact on the ground. The Investment Plan will focus on protection of vulnerable communities from climate impacts, in light of evidence showing that climate change disproportionally affects the State’s most vulnerable populations.

The Research Investment Plan was developed through a robust community engagement process, including Public Workshops in Oakland, Merced and Los Angeles, as well as Researcher Roundtables at five universities.

Randall Winston, SGC’s Executive Director, said “This new program is an exciting opportunity to invest in the innovative, action-oriented research California needs to move the needle in reaching our climate goals. Engaging local communities in this effort is crucial to ensure that new practices and technologies are viable on a local scale.”

The Investment Plan outlines four areas of research that will be prioritized for funding in the first year of the Program. These research topics include:

  • Supporting and protecting vulnerable communities from the impacts of climate change

  • Integrating land use, conservation, and management into California’s climate change programs;

  • Increasing data accessibility and planning support for local and regional climate change planning

  • Accelerating and supporting transitions to climate smart communities

More information about each of these priorities can be found in the Research Investment Plan on the SGC’s website: http://sgc.ca.gov/programs/climate-research/

Eligible applicants include researchers and research collaboratives affiliated with Universities of California, California State Universities, federally-funded national laboratories, and private, non-profit colleges and universities in California. The SGC will release a grant solicitation and host a series of technical workshops for eligible applicants in February, providing additional information about proposal submissions. Final funding decisions will be made in the spring of 2018.

The Climate Change Research Program is designed to support to a larger statewide commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emission levels to 40% of 1990 levels by 2030 and 80% of 1990 levels by 2050. It is part of the California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work—reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment—with a specific focus on disadvantaged communities.