By the Community Environmental Council (CEC)
The Community Environmental Council applauds the California Legislature for passing a range of impressive climate bills [Wednesday night]. These bills and the federal government’s recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act provide the strongest tailwinds for climate progress that the United States has ever experienced. We urge the governor to sign these important measures to continue California’s climate and environmental leadership. Where California innovates, other states and nations follow, and 2022 is rapidly becoming the most momentous year for progress toward solving the climate crisis.
The legislation that the Community Environmental Council has supported and that will most accelerate our mission to build on-the-ground momentum to reverse the threat of the climate crisis includes:
SB 1020, which increases California’s requirements for renewable and clean electricity to 90% by 2035, 95% by 2040, and 100% by 2045. The Community Environmental Council’s Director of Climate Policy, Michael Chiacos, said “SB 1020’s strengthened renewable energy requirements will continue the rapid greening of California’s electricity grid, already one of the cleanest in the world. This clean electricity will be leveraged to dramatically drive down carbon emissions in electric vehicles, buildings, and industry. New wind and solar are the most affordable sources of electricity today, which will protect Californians from volatile fossil fuel price increases.”
AB 1757, which incorporates nature-based carbon sequestration into California’s GreenHouse Gas (GHG) reduction targets to achieve carbon neutrality and foster climate adaptation and resilience. The Community Environmental Council’s Climate Smart Agricultural Program Manager, Molly Taylor, said, “AB 1757 reflects the urgency of the climate crisis and proven solutions being put into action, starting with the ground beneath our feet. By incorporating nature-based carbon sequestration into the state’s emission reduction targets, this plan will help California’s natural and working lands become a carbon sink if properly managed. By setting targets for nature-based carbon sequestration, California will continue to deliver meaningful incentives for farmers and ranchers to improve their climate-smart practices. It will propel the work the Community Environmental Council is doing with ranchers and farmers across the region to help protect natural resources for generations to come. The more carbon that can be captured, the closer we come to reaching our goal of zero emissions.”
SB 1230, developed by our partners at Let’s Green California, which will help accelerate an equitable transition to clean cars in California. It creates a single, simplified application and web portal for California’s existing clean car incentive programs and makes clean car incentive dollars available at the point of sale. The Community Environmental Council’s Climate Justice Manager, Jen Hernández, said “SB 1230 will accelerate clean car adoption in low-to-moderate income communities in California. It will tremendously help the Community Environmental Council’s programs to provide electric vehicle education and outreach to all drivers in our region.”
Other impactful environmental bills the Legislature passed include ones that will codify California’s Carbon Neutrality by 2045 goal; restrict new oil and gas development at least 3,200 feet from schools and homes; support community renewable energy programs; accelerate zero-emission vehicle purchases and charging station build-out; and support farmworker rights.
The Community Environmental Council urges Governor Newsom to sign all of these critical pieces of legislation into law. To learn more, read this recent coverage by The New York Times.