California Climate Scientists and Economists Urge Governor and Legislators to Make Steeper Reductions in Global Warming Emissions

Published Feb 19, 2014

SACRAMENTO (February 19, 2014) — The Union of Concerned Scientists today sent an open letter signed by more than 100 scientists and economists to Gov. Jerry Brown and California legislators encouraging them to set more ambitious goals for reducing global warming emissions that are necessary to limit the worst impacts of climate change.

While the signers recognize the progress that California has already made in implementing climate policies, they urge lawmakers and regulators to adopt new medium-term targets for 2030 that will help the state meet its goal of an 80 percent reduction in global warming emissions below 1990 levels by 2050. The signers note that California policies that put a price on carbon and further promote renewable energy, low carbon fuels, and cleaner transportation beyond 2020 will serve as a model for much-needed federal and international action.

“California's leadership is needed now more than ever to address the risks of a dangerously warming climate,” the letter reads. “We urge the state's policy makers to adopt a science-based, heat-trapping emissions target for 2030 that puts California on a path to meeting our 2050 goals.”

The lead signers of the letter are Nobel Laureate Kenneth Arrow, Ph.D., of Stanford University; Roger C. Bales, Ph.D., of UC Merced; Hilda Blanco, Ph.D., of the University of Southern California; Gary Griggs, Ph.D., of UC Santa Cruz; W. Michael Hanemann, Ph.D., of UC Berkeley; Daniel M. Kammen, Ph.D., of UC Berkeley; Pamela A. Matson, Ph.D., of Stanford University; Richard Norgaard, Ph.D., of UC Berkeley, and Richard C. J. Somerville, Ph.D., of UC San Diego.

In addition, seven of the letter’s signers were principal researchers for the Third Assessment from the California Climate Change Center and seven of the signers are lead authors of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports.

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