California Invests Millions in Technology Research to Reduce Global Warming Emissions

Sacramento – Today, the Strategic Growth Council (SGC) approved funding for four groundbreaking research initiatives that will develop clean technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and advance equitable outcomes for vulnerable communities. The research teams that were selected for funding will explore topics as varied as developing tools for resilient forest management, sustainable use of biomass, improving carbon sequestration on farmlands, and advancing more efficient cooling technologies in low-income and disadvantaged communities.

“While California leads the nation in reducing greenhouse gas emissions to combat the effects of climate change, impacts already are being felt – and they are disproportionately affecting our most vulnerable communities,” California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird said. “Research funded through this program will help develop solutions that reduce emissions while providing local economic and public health benefits.”

These investments will be made through the SGC’s Climate Change Research Program, which is funded by cap-and-trade auction proceeds. Established in legislation that was signed by Governor Jerry Brown in 2017, the Climate Change Research Program supports crosscutting research investments that support clean energy, build community resilience, and advance an equitable transition towards a more sustainable California. Today’s decision initiates the second round of funding under this program, the first of which was awarded in July 2018.

Ken Alex, Director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research and SGC Chair said, “The SGC research grants are designed to fill gaps in our knowledge about some of the most promising climate change solutions, and move them more quickly to fruition.”

SGC’s Executive Director, Louise Bedsworth said, “In addition to supporting the development of innovative new technologies and approaches to reduce global warming emissions, these awards help to build critical partnerships between researchers and the people on the ground advancing climate solutions. SGC is proud to support the partnerships that are critical to solving the climate challenge.”

Chosen through a rigorous multi-phased selection process, research proposals must advance California’s climate goals, while also supporting equitable outcomes for low income and disadvantaged communities. Researchers are required to develop collaborative teams that include engagement with stakeholders through every phase of the research.

For example, the University of California, Office of the President (UCOP) will partner with UC Berkeley, UC Merced, CSU East Bay and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory on its sustainable land management research proposal, which also includes engagement with tribal nations and agricultural partners in all stages of the research process. For the first time ever, this research will combine different technologies that help capture carbon in soils to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The full list of awardees can be found below:

InstitutionProposal TitleUniversity of California, Office of the PresidentWorking Lands Innovation Center - Catalyzing Negative Carbon EmissionsUniversity of California, IrvineInnovation Center for Advancing Ecosystem Climate SolutionsElectric Power Research Institute (EPRI)Innovative Low Greenhouse Gas Residential Space Conditioning TechnologiesUniversity of California, MercedMobile Biochar Production for Methane Emission Reduction and Soil Amendment

View the full list of awardees for more information.