How Building More Housing in California Would Drastically Reduce Climate Change
“How can we fight climate change by building more housing in California?”
Although my home state of California is a global leader in Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, and Electric Vehicle Adoption, we are seriously lagging behind in critical area: housing development.
As a result of California’s neglection of residential construction combined with a booming economy over the past few decades, millions have been drawn to the Golden State without making more room for them. This has created a lack of supply with heavy demand, making housing costs skyrocket and pushing out residents further and further away from job centers. This has caused commute lengths to increase, releasing more pollution into the atmosphere and exacerbating climate change.
If California is truly committed to fighting climate change, then it needs to commit to building much more housing near transit and job centers. Upcoming Bill SB-50 holds much promise, which allows for construction of apartment buildings a half-mile from a railway station, quarter-mile of a high-frequency bus stop, or within “job-rich” neighborhoods.