California Passes Historic Climate Package
SACRAMENTO – The California Assembly today passed AB 197 by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) and the Senate is expected to soon pass SB 32 by Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills). Together, these bills enact the most aggressive emissions targets in North America and require California—the world’s sixth-largest economy—to reduce carbon pollution to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. They also include a renewed emphasis on equity, transparency, and accountability.
The bills faced vigorous opposition from Big Oil, which strongly lobbied against the bills and took out full-page newspaper ads in an effort to “halt action on climate,” according to a statement from Gov. Jerry Brown.
AB 197 heads to the Governor’s desk for his signature and SB 32 is expected to land there soon following a final procedural vote in the Senate.
Following is a statement from Alex Jackson, legal director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s California Climate Project:
“California has always led the way in protecting our environment and fighting climate change. And it’s poised to make climate history again. These bills set the most ambitious carbon pollution reduction goal on the continent and integrate environmental justice directly into our climate policies. The world is watching and California is stepping up.”
Following is a statement from Ann Notthoff, NRDC’s California advocacy director:
“California is seeing the visible impacts of climate change as we cope with our fifth year of an historic drought and wildfires darken our skies. Our elected leaders have responded by passing—with strong majorities and bipartisan support—SB 32 by Sen. Fran Pavley and AB 197 by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia. These historic bills put California on the cutting edge of climate policy and are now on their way to the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown, who has promised to sign them both into law.”
The impacts of climate change are happening now and the stakes couldn't be higher. NASA declared July the hottest month on record globally. Huge wildfires rage throughout our state, while record rainfall and floods are crippling Louisiana—troubling signs of the new normal because of climate change.
Clean energy is booming. An analysis from Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), a nonpartisan business group, finds that California's proactive climate policies have injected about $48 billion into the state's economy in the past decade and helped create over 500,000 jobs.
Experience has shown that California's environmental laws don't drive industry out-of-business. Instead they serve as a beacon to attract investments and jobs in the clean energy industries that will power our future.
- Fact-Checking the Oil Industry's Claims on AB 197 and SB 32, by Simon Mui, Aug. 23, 2016
- Historic Climate Package One Step Away, by Alex Jackson, Aug. 23, 2016
- California: Pulling Together for Climate Action Now, by Ann Notthoff, Aug. 19, 2016
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.