Last week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed new laws to extend a groundbreaking policy to curb climate change and to improve air quality in polluted neighborhoods. The legislation was approved by two-thirds of lawmakers with bipartisan support, continuing the state’s long tradition of practical policies that improve both the economy and the environment.
These new laws build on major steps forward over the past few years, including limiting the state’s greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030, doubling efforts to cut energy waste by improving energy efficiency, and requiring half of electricity to come from renewable sources like wind and solar by 2030.
The state’s ongoing leadership to curb climate change enjoys broad support among the public, according to Foundation grantee Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), which has just released its annual survey on Californians’ views on the environment.
Key findings of PPIC’s survey include:
- Strong majorities of California adults (72%) and likely voters (66%) favor the new state law mandating reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
- Half of Californians believe state climate policies will lead to more jobs.
- Residents support steps to reduce climate change, even though most (54%) expect the result will be higher gasoline prices.
- Overwhelming majorities (76% adults, 71% likely voters) are in favor of getting more electricity from renewable sources.
- Four out of five Californians also say it’s very or somewhat important to them that California act as a world leader in efforts to fight climate change, as most say warming is a very serious threat to California’s future economy and quality of life.
Please read the full report here.
At a time when the national government is moving backwards and abandoning international partnerships on these issues, California brings a welcome ray of light for the path forward.