California Leads with Historic Climate Votes, Sends Market Signal for Clean Energy Growth and Investment

Statement by Adrienne Alvord, Western States Director, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Aug 24, 2016

OAKLAND, Calif. (August 24, 2016)—The California Legislature reaffirmed its strong commitment to addressing climate change with today’s historic vote to establish ambitious new carbon reduction targets, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). Following a tense summer during which the fate of Senate Bill 32 (Pavley) and Assembly Bill 197 (E. Garcia) was cast in doubt, a majority of lawmakers pushed back against oil industry fear-mongering and sent the bills to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature. SB 32 builds on the overwhelming success of the 10-year-old California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 by requiring the state to reduce heat-trapping pollution to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. Its companion bill AB 197 adds enhanced legislative oversight over the Air Resources Board, the agency charged with implementing climate policy.

Below is a statement by Adrienne Alvord, UCS Western States Director.

“Today’s historic vote was a referendum on the state’s climate change policies. By passing SB 32 and AB 197, the Legislature has cemented California’s commitment to lead the fight against global climate change. The vote means businesses, innovators and investors will have the confidence needed to keep California ahead of the curve in the emerging clean energy economy. It also means the needs of communities hit hardest by climate change and air pollution will continue to be prioritized in the state’s policies. 

“In the 10 years since the California Global Warming Solutions Act became law, our state’s jobs, economy and renewable energy generation capacity have grown, while climate pollution and oil and electricity consumption have dropped. Investment in clean technology companies has grown by nearly 600 percent. If signed into law by Governor Brown, as he has indicated he will, these bills will extend and strengthen the state’s landmark climate programs, making California even stronger and safer than before.”