West Oakland experiences the highest level of diesel particulate matter — a toxic air contaminant and form of powerful, short-lived climate pollutant– of any community in the San Francisco Bay Area. Heavy truck traffic to the Port of Oakland, pollution from the Port and from the surrounding freeways along with decades of disinvestment resulted in this concentration of air pollution. Coupled with emissions from neighboring industry and activity, these pollutants have contributed to worsening climate change and generated higher rates of asthma, cardiovascular disease, premature death and other adverse health effects for the West Oakland community.
Former four-term California Governor Jerry Brown sat down with Climate Break to discuss policy solutions and possible government actions on climate change. While in office from 1975-1983 and then 2011-2019, Gov. Brown instituted significant environmental protections and regulations that became the standards for the nation to follow. Now retired, Gov. Brown continues to drive international conversation on clean energy, market climate solutions and global cooperation on climate change mitigation.