California signs sweeping climate policy package
Governor Gavin Newsom’s measures include a target to achieve carbon neutrality as a state by 2045.
California has enacted some of the US’s most aggressive climate measures in an attempt to accelerate the state’s transition to clean energy.
The legislation package, signed by Governor Gavin Newsom, includes measures to cut pollution and avoid environmental damage from big polluters.
The state will also seek to achieve carbon neutrality no later than 2045 and utilise 90% clean energy by 2035. It will also establish new setback measures protecting communities from oil drilling, use carbon capture technologies to remove pollution from the air, and be active in using nature-based solutions.
The package forms part of the California Climate Commitment, a record $54bn investment in climate action that exceeds what most countries are spending and advances economic opportunity and environmental justice in communities across the state.
“This month has been a wake-up call for all of us that later is too late to act on climate change. California isn’t waiting anymore,” said Newsom.
“Together with the legislature, California is taking the most aggressive action on climate our nation has ever seen. We’re cleaning the air we breathe, holding the big polluters accountable, and ushering in a new era for clean energy. That’s climate action done the California Way – and we’re not only doubling down, we’re just getting started.”
None of the bills put forward received sponsorship from a Republican senator.
In recent months, prominent members of the Republican Party have been vocal in opposing ESG investing.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently barred state pension funds from screening for ESG risks, with Arizona Senate nominee Blake Masters also describing ESG as a “threat” to the US economy.
The package also establishes a clear regulatory framework for carbon removal and carbon capture, utilisation and sequestration.
The policy bars the practice of injecting carbon dioxide into the ground for the purpose of enhancing oil recovery (EOR). However, this controversial practice is not as prevalent in California as it is in other oil producing states, such as Pennsylvania, North Dakota, and Texas.
“California is taking the most aggressive action on climate our nation has ever seen.” Gavin Newsom, Governor of California.