Buy Clean California Act Creates Incentive to Cut Carbon Emissions by Requiring EPDs

Green Infrastructure

Background In 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the Buy Clean California Act (AB 262) into law which encourages greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions associated with state infrastructure projects. AB 262 requires state agencies to consider embedded carbon from the production of construction materials, such as rebar, during contracting for state projects. The law will apply to all California state infrastructure, as well as University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) projects. The bill arose as a recognition that construction materials contribute significantly to California’s annual GHG emissions (about 24 percent). Given this contribution to the state’s emissions, construction projects needed to be addressed for the state to reach its GHG emissions reduction goal of 40 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2030. A 2015 executive order from Jerry Brown ordered that state agencies “take climate change into account in their planning and investment decisions and employ

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