While much of the news regarding climate change has been overwhelmingly depressing and frustrating, California Gov. Jerry Brown is extending his state's plan to make huge carbon emission cuts over the next 10 years.
The bills signed by Brown are some of the most progressive ever crafted and will put the state at the forefront of the battle against climate change. According to the Huff Post:
The new legislation will significantly ramp up the state’s existing efforts to reduce emissions, including increasing the state’s reliance on solar power, offering rebates for electric cars and placing stronger regulations on businesses.
SB 32, authored by state Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), extends a 2006 law that required the state to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. (California is currently on track to meet that goal.) Under the new legislation, California must reduce emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.
AB 197, written by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella), establishes a new legislative committee to oversee environmental regulation, giving lawmakers more say in efforts to improve air quality and reduce pollution.
The new goals are the most ambitious of any U.S. state. And given the sheer scale of it ― California’s economy is now the world’s sixth largest ― the law could also serve as a model for international efforts to reduce emissions.
Brown deserves all the credit in the world here, and his commitment to reversing climate change is another reason why California is one badass state.
“Climate change is real, and knowing that, California is taking action,” said Brown in a statement yesterday. “[the bills] SB 32 and AB 197 are far-reaching moves that continue California on its path of vast innovation and environmental resilience.”
There will be major resistance to these far reaching bills by the energy industry and by the business community at large, but given the astonishing speed with which climate change is wreaking havoc on the earth's bio systems, one hopes the public will get behind Brown and ensure the state lives up to its commitments.
Either way, bravo Jerry Brown, and bravo California. It's good to know that while Republicans don't take climate change seriously, responsible adults in positions of power do -- and more than that, they are actually doing something about it.