Zero CO2 emissions by 2045: California passes multiple bills to mitigate climate change
As climate control discussions intensify, California lawmakers have moved to pass a flurry of aggressive pieces of legislation to advance efforts to mitigate global warming.
On Wednesday, August 31, lawmakers passed several climate-related bills "including a record $54 billion in climate spending, a measure to prevent the state’s last nuclear power plant from closing, sharp new restrictions on oil and gas drilling, and a mandate that California stop adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by 2045."
According to The New York Times, the passing of the bills came after a years-long legislative session in Sacramento, Calif. Per the news outlet, the victory serves as a win for profile and begun drawing speculation about a possible White House run."
Shortly after the bills were passed, Newsom released a statement sharing his reaction to the progress lawmakers have made in tackling the country's climate crisis.
“Together with the Legislature’s leadership, the progress we make on the climate crisis this year will be felt for generations and the impact will spread far beyond our borders,” Newsom said.
The new pieces of legislation come just weeks after President Joe Biden signed a massive climate bill into law that included $370 billion being dispersed over the next decade for the purpose of low-emissions energy resources including wind, solar power, and nuclear power.
Although the pieces of legislation appear to be a step in the right direction, CarbonPlan policy director Danny Cullenward recently expressed concern because the state is not yet poised to meet its current goals in place for 2030.
“If these new targets force state regulators to go back to the drawing board and come up with a credible new plan to cut emissions, that’s great,” Mr. Cullenward said. “But in my view they still don’t have a realistic plan for implementation, and that’s the most important part.”
Climate experts are also expressing concern about other important factors. “Housing policy often gets lost in climate discussions, but this is actually one of the best ways that we can reduce emissions,” said Ethan Elkind, a University of California, Berkeley law professor and climate expert. “If we can help more people live near transit and in places where they don’t need a car, then who cares if they have an electric vehicle?”
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