Victory: California enacts historic climate legislation

Aug 25, 2016
By Sarah Rose

Great news! While gridlock in Congress prevents meaningful action on climate change, the California Assembly just voted to pass SB 32 and a companion bill, AB 197, opening a new chapter in California’s bold commitment to reduce climate pollution. These historic climate legislations represent our single greatest step forward to honor our commitments to the Paris Climate Agreement.

Authored by climate champion Senator Fran Pavley as a follow up to California’s landmark AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, SB 32 would set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. The target codifies the standard established in the governor’s Executive Order issued last year and builds upon the existing targets set by AB 32. Companion bill AB 197 by climate champion Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia will increase equity, transparency, and accountability with greater legislative oversight of the California Air Resources Board.

What happens in California has an impact across the nation as other state's look to California's leadership on climate change solutions in drafting their own policies and solutions. In short, the passage of SB 32 and AB 197 preserve and expand California’s leadership to combat climate change head on.

And despite a tidal wave of opposition by the oil industry and their lobbyists, both bills just passed their most difficult hurdle – AB 197 heads to the Governor’s desk and SB 32 will now head back to the Senate for votes on amendments, and then on to the Governor’s desk.

We’ve been working to pass this critical bill since it was introduced last year. Here’s some of the work CLCV has done just in the past three weeks to get us here:

  • Meeting around the clock with bill author Senator Pavley, author of companion bill Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, legislative leadership, the governor’s office, legislative champions, on-the-fence lawmakers, and allies
  • Targeted media outreach and advertisements in key districts to activate local community members
  • Email action alerts that helped YOU send thousands of emails and make hundreds of calls to key legislators
  • Hosted in district meetings and town halls with key legislators
  • Coordinated an Advocacy Day on August 2nd in Sacramento with dozens of allied groups, and met with more than 100 legislative offices.

This victory was a team effort. A diverse coalition of environmental and equity organizations, public health leaders, labor groups, businesses, consumers, and faith leaders worked all year in order to pass SB 32, knowing that keeping our state on the path to improved public health, a strong economy, and cleaner air was critical to inspiring the rest of the country and the world to follow in California’s footsteps. The incredible leadership of Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Senate pro Tem Kevin de Leon, along with Governor Jerry Brown, shows us once again that California’s top elected officials understand the global significance of California’s landmark climate policies.

Even with this strong coalition working nonstop, this was a hard-fought victory. As expected, Big Oil's army of lobbyists descended on Sacramento to stop SB 32. They launched misleading websites and ads, distorted the facts, and threatened political and electoral retribution in an effort to convince lawmakers to vote "no." Outspent and outnumbered, advocates for the environment, healthy communities, and our planet prevailed.

This is a huge victory, and we couldn’t have done it without you.

Now we need to get SB 32 to the Governor’s desk. Please donate today to help CLCV to continue our work to advance Californian’s climate leadership! >>>



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