August 31, 2015

Scientists and Economists Urge California Legislators to Pass Climate Leadership Bills

Reducing Emissions Necessary to Address the Risks of a Dangerously Warming Climate, the Experts Say

SACRAMENTO (Aug. 31, 2015)—The Union of Concerned Scientists today released a letter signed by 150 leading scientists, economists and other scholars with expertise in the impacts of climate change that calls on California legislators to support SB 32 and SB 350.

The letter urges legislators to take decisive action to ensure California meets the goals of the climate policies that include a reduction in heat-trapping emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, an increase in the share of electricity generated from renewable sources to 50 percent by 2030, and a 50 percent reduction in petroleum use in the transportation sector by 2030.

“If heat-trapping emissions continue to rise, the scope and severity of impacts will accelerate,” the letter reads. “Communities across California are already being forced to cope with increased wildfires, more frequent and extreme heat waves, a strained water management system, growing risks to agricultural crops, greater summer electricity demand, and more coastal flooding. While we must adapt to those impacts of climate change that cannot be avoided, California must also continue to take ambitious steps to reduce its heat-trapping emissions.”

Signers of the letter include Nobel Laureate Mario Molina, Ph.D., of UC San Diego; Nobel Laureate Kenneth Arrow, Ph.D., of Stanford University; Veerabhadran Ramanathan, Ph.D., of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego; Manuel Pastor, Ph.D., of the University of Southern California; Richard C. J. Somerville, Ph.D., of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego; Roger C. Bales, Ph.D., of UC Merced; W. Michael Hanemann, Ph.D., of UC Berkeley; and Daniel M. Kammen, Ph.D., of UC Berkeley.

The full text of the letter with a complete list of signers can be found here.

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with people across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.