SACRAMENTO – The state of California recently passed two climate change bills to help tackle North America’s emissions targets with California aiming to reduce its carbon pollution to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.
Last month, bills AB 197 by Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) and SB 32 by Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) passed legislative hurdles before they were handed over to Gov. Jerry Brown to sign them into law.
Speaking to the Northern California Record, Spokeswoman for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Pat Remick said that it was a pretty significant milestone for California passing the two bills and that California is already reaching targets.
“California is already well on its way to meeting the 2020 emissions reduction levels,” Remick said.
The NRDC was initially told to wait until next year to attempt to extend the emissions limits of California’s groundbreaking Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) beyond 2020. Faced with opposition, it was told that it couldn’t achieve what it wanted.
It was previously told that the oil industry was too strong and its influence in Sacramento could not be overcome.
Remick says, though, that the bills were supported by polls that showed overwhelming support for climate action amid the realities of terrible smog in southern California, a historic drought and dangerous wildfires.
“Clean energy businesses and investors were clamoring for certainty about California’s climate road map so they can continue investing in the state’s clean energy future,” she said.
According to Remick, a recent analysis showed AB 32 policies have helped to inject around $48 billion into communities across the state and create roughly 500,000 jobs.
With leadership from Senate President pro tem Kevin De León, Senator Pavley, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, and Assemblymen Eduardo Garcia and Jimmy Gomez, in addition to responses to concerns about transparency, equity, and legislative oversight by state agencies charged with implementation, leaders in Sacramento have demonstrated that they are both progressive and prosperous.
Even though the state of California is illustrating its attempts to reduce the effects of climate change, there is still much that needs to be done in the state to achieve the levels it wants.
“The Air Resources Board, in collaboration with other state agencies, will develop a scoping plan on how to ensure statewide greenhouse gas emissions fall to at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, as required by the legislation,” said Remick.
ARB and other agencies are holding public workshops this year to solicit stakeholder and public input to inform the plan’s design before bringing the final plan to the board for final approval in Spring 2017, Remick added.