Governor signs clean electricity bill, setting new carbon neutrality goal
–Reaffirming California’s global climate leadership, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. recently signed Senate Bill 100, authored by Senate President pro Tempore Emeritus Kevin de León, setting a 100-percent clean electricity goal for the state, and issued an executive order establishing a new target to achieve carbon neutrality – both by 2045.
“This bill and the executive order put California on a path to meet the goals of Paris and beyond. It will not be easy. It will not be immediate. But it must be done,” said Governor Brown.
“In California, Democrats and Republicans know climate change is real, it’s affecting our lives right now, and unless we take action immediately – it may become irreversible,” said Senator de León. “Today, with Governor Brown’s support, California sent a message to the rest of the world that we are taking the future into our own hands; refusing to be the victims of its uncertainty. Transitioning to an entirely carbon-free energy grid will create good-paying jobs, ensure our children breathe cleaner air and mitigate the devastating impacts of climate change on our communities and economy.”
SB 100 advances the state’s existing Renewables Portfolio Standard, which establishes how much of the electricity system should be powered from renewable energy resources, to 50-percent by 2025 and 60-percent by 2030. It also puts California on the bold path to implement a zero-carbon electricity grid by 2045.
“California is committed to doing whatever is necessary to meet the existential threat of climate change,” said Governor Brown in his SB 100 signing message. “This bill, and others I will sign this week, help us go in that direction. But have no illusions, California and the rest of the world have miles to go before we achieve zero-carbon emissions.”
To further ensure California is combatting global warming beyond the electric sector, which represents 16-percent of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, the Governor issued an executive order directing the state to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045 and net negative greenhouse gas emissions after that. This will ensure California removes as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it emits – the first step to reversing the potentially disastrous impacts of climate change.
The state will reach its goals with continued significant reductions of carbon pollution and increased carbon sequestration in forests, soils and other natural landscapes and programs focused on improving air quality and public health, especially in California’s most impacted communities.
With Governor Brown’s order, California establishes the most ambitious carbon neutrality commitment of any major economic jurisdiction in the world – of more than 20 countries and at least 40 cities, states and provinces planning to go carbon neutral by mid-century or sooner.
This action comes days before grassroots activists, mayors, governors, heads of industry and international leaders convene in San Francisco for the express purpose of mobilizing climate action at the Global Climate Action Summit. Late last week, Governor Brown also signed legislation to block new federal offshore oil drilling along California’s coast and announced the state’s opposition to the federal government’s plan to expand oil drilling on public lands in California. The entirety of the state’s coast has been off-limits to new oil and gas leases for more than 30 years, and the state has not issued a lease for offshore oil or gas production since 1968.