California Keeps Marching Forward in the Fight Against Climate Change

Evelyn and co at Peoples Climate Rally.jpg

It’s been an exciting week starting with the People’s Climate March in New York City, solidarity events in Oakland and Los Angeles, the United Nations Conference in New York, and our own Governor Brown’s presentation to the UN conference. Governor Brown noted California’s leadership and urged collaboration from other states and countries when he said, “I believe that from the bottom up, we can make real impact and we need to join together, not just other cities in America – we’re signing MOUs with Quebec and British Columbia, with Mexico, with states in China and wherever we can find partners, because we know we have to do it all. From the bottom up, from the top down and the collective effort of the world community to deal with the existential threat of climate change.” You can read his full remarks here

NorCal People's Climate Rally in Oakland   Photo Credit: NRDC

At the same time that Governor Brown is pushing the rest of the United States and the world to do more, he continues to enact strong policies here at home. The LA Times Editorial from September 22 asks “What about those other greenhouse gases” and mentions the governor’s action on legislation to reduce so called “short lived climate pollutants.”  My colleague Alex Jackson describes one such bill, SB 605 by Senators Lara and Pavley, in his recent blog. This bill directs the California Air Resources Board to develop measures to control pollutants like methane and black carbon by 2016 with an emphasis on actions that will provide relief to communities already overburdened by air pollution. Another bill, SB 1371 by Senator Leno, requires utilities to address the growing issue of natural gas leaks in distribution pipelines. Governor Brown signed both bills before departing for the UN Climate Summit as part of a package of legislation to keep California at the forefront of efforts to combat climate change.

Taken together, SB 605 and SB 1371 build on the state’s work to reduce all greenhouse gas emissions responsible for warming the planet and polluting our air. We applaud the state legislature for passing these bills and Governor Brown for signing them.