Buy Clean California is the first law in the nation to address embodied carbon in construction materials.

“The Governor made us wait,” said Representative Rob Bonta of the California Assembly, about the Buy Clean California act that he had sponsored.

Governor Jerry Brown had until midnight on Sunday to sign or veto the bill. "It was touch-and-go until the very end, given some of the governor’s office's concerns," Bonta reports. He was on a plane returning home from visiting his daughter on the east coast when the good news finally arrived in the form of a group text from his staff:  AB 262 signed!!

“I congratulated my team,” Bonta said. “This was not an easy lift at all.”

Addressing the carbon loophole

Buy Clean California seeks to address the “carbon loophole” that happens when manufacturing gets outsourced from a place with strict pollution controls to a more lax jurisdiction. California’s rules don’t do much good if California-based suppliers are underbid by more polluting manufacturers located elsewhere, be it in Arizona, or in China.  “Between 20 and 25 percent of all carbon emissions are embedded in products that are bound for export,” explained Matthew Lewis, a consultant to ClimateWorks Foundation, which spearheaded the bill.

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