After industry and transportation, buildings are a top emitter of green-house gases. Electrification of buildings is a critical step toward decarbonization, improved health, and health equity. Natural gas appliances and heaters are proven to increase indoor air pollution and exacerbate conditions such as asthma. The health harms from indoor pollution are compounded by the high outdoor air pollution levels in California, per the American Lung Association’s State of the Air 2020 report. Also, while 98% of Californians live in counties with a failing grade for at least one air pollution measurement, a person of color is three times more likely to live in a county with failing grades in all measurements.
California is at a critical turning point with several ground-breaking transportation and building decarbonization bills moving through the legislature that we are amplifying and supporting with our health professional voice. In addition, we need to continue our coalition efforts toward pushing the California Energy Commission (CEC) to demonstrate climate health leadership by developing a 2022 building energy code cycle to require all-electric new construction statewide.