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California Governor signs landmark climate legislation

LOS ANGELES鈥擬oving聽boldly to combat聽climate change and curb toxic carbon聽pollution, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.聽today signed landmark legislation SB聽350聽by Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de聽Le贸n (D-Los聽Angeles) that聽establishes聽world-leading聽energy efficiency and聽renewable energy goals for California.

“California has taken groundbreaking steps to increase the efficiency of our cars, buildings and聽appliances and provide ever more renewable energy,” said Governor Brown. “With SB 350, we deepen聽our commitment.”

Governor Brown signed the legislation from the East Terrace of the Griffith Observatory overlooking the聽City of Los Angeles and was joined by dozens of government, climate, business, environmental justice聽and community leaders.

SB 350 codifies goals Governor Brown laid out in his January 2015 inaugural address to double the聽rate of energy efficiency savings in California buildings and generate half of the state’s electricity from聽renewable sources by 2030.

“Today, California is laying the groundwork for a healthier and sustainable future for all of our families,”聽said Senate President pro Tempore De Le贸n. “We are showing the world through innovation how we聽can transition and increase access to renewable energy while cleaning up the air we breathe,聽especially in our most polluted communities.”

The legislation is an important step in the state’s landmark plan to cut climate-warming聽pollution. It also聽establishes state policy to promote transportation electrification to meet the state’s climate and clean聽air goals.

“Rising sea levels will impact homes, businesses, infrastructure, our national security, and our聽economy,” said Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins. “That’s why SB 350 is so important to our future. With聽SB 350 California is leading by example. It sets the course for our state, for the nation and for the聽world. There will come a time when climate change deniers finally pull their heads out of the sand.聽When that day comes, they can look around and see that California will be in better shape because we聽put SB 350 in place today.”

SB 350 builds on California’s current 33 percent renewables portfolio standard, signed into law by聽Governor Brown in 2011.

“We are extremely happy that Governor Brown is signing SB 350, and grateful for Senator Kevin De聽Leon’s leadership,” said Physicians for Social Responsibility Los聽Angeles (PSRLA)聽Executive Director聽Martha Dina Argu虉ello. “PSRLA聽is committed to continuing to work with the Governor, the Legislature,聽and the California Air Resources Board to make sure SB 350 is fully implemented. By increasing聽renewable energy production and energy efficiency in buildings we can reduce the terrible health聽burdens caused by our use of dirty energy and fuels.”

California’s Leadership on Climate Change

Governor Brown first announced the goals codified in SB 350 in his inaugural address this year, in聽which he also committed to reduce today’s petroleum use in cars and trucks by up to 50 percent within聽the next 15 years途 make heating fuels cleaner途 reduce the release of methane, black carbon and other聽potent pollutants across industries途 and manage farm and rangelands, forests and wetlands so they聽can store carbon.

Earlier this year, the Governor issued an executive order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in聽California 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 the聽most ambitious target in North America and聽consistent with California’s existing commitment to reduce emissions 80 percent under 1990 levels by聽2050.

Additionally, as the clock ticks for national governments to reach a deal to reduce harmful emissions聽ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, Governor Brown continues to focus聽on building and broadening collaboration amongst cities, states and provinces, at the “subnational聽level.”

To that end, the Governor has spearheaded a global pact amongst cities, states and countries called聽the Under 2 MOU to聽limit the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius the聽warming threshold at which scientists say there will likely be catastrophic climate disruptions. To date,聽a total of 42 jurisdictions representing 19 countries and five continents have signed or endorsed the聽Under 2 MOU, collectively representing more than $13.1 trillion in GDP and 463 million people. If the聽signatories represented a single country, it would be the second largest economy in the world behind聽only the United States.

In addition to action on the Under 2 MOU, in recent months the Governor has traveled to the United聽Nations in New York, the Vatican in Italy and the Climate Summit of the Americas in Toronto, Canada聽to call on others leaders to join California in the fight against climate change.

These efforts build on a number of other international climate change agreements with leaders from聽Mexico, China, North America, Japan, Israel, Peru and Chile. Governor Brown also helped convene聽hundreds of world-renowned聽researchers and scientists to issue a groundbreaking call to action called聽the consensus statement which聽translates key scientific climate findings from disparate fields聽into one unified document.

The impacts of climate change are already being felt in California and will disproportionately impact the聽state’s most vulnerable populations.

For full text of the bill, visit: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov