When Gov. Jerry Brown visits the Vatican this week for an international conference, he'll be carrying a resolution from state lawmakers supporting Pope Francis' recent encyclical on climate change.
He's hoping the Legislature will send an even stronger message later this year by passing new environmental rules aimed at helping California slash greenhouse-gas emissions over the next few decades.
Approval of the legislation, intended to enact goals outlined by the governor this year, would bolster Brown's calls for global action on climate change with a display of regulatory muscle in his own state.
The California Senate recently passed SB 350, legislation that sets a goal of 50% electricity from renewables in the Golden State by 2030. The bill doesn’t stop there, though — it also calls for doubling the energy efficiency of buildings in the next 15 years, and cutting petroleum use in transportation by half.
On Wednesday morning, four-term California Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order that aims to reduce California’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. Brown called it the most aggressive GHG target by any North American government to date.
Under Brown’s guidance, California has made ambitious steps to confront climate change, which has contributed to the state’s current water woes. But this is his boldest gambit yet. His carbon reduction target is even more aggressive than the Obama administration’s, which aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.