Brown sees new California energy policy as model

14 September, 2018, 11:58 | Author: Grady Montgomery
  • Stephen Lam  Getty Images North America

California has set a goal of phasing out electricity produced by fossil fuels by 2045 under legislation signed Monday by Gov.

Jerry Brown is aiming for the state to be carbon-neutral by 2045.

California Governor Edmund "Jerry" Brown on Monday signed Senate Bill 100 into law, setting in place a 100% renewable electricity target for the state by 2045, and doubled down on his clean energy commitment by issuing an executive order establishing a new target to achieve carbon neutrality over the same time frame. Jerry Brown signed a bill Monday that aims to eliminate fossil fuel use for electricity by 2045 and serves as a rebuke to US withdrawal from the Paris climate accord. This order essentially states that California must "remove (s) as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it emits".

"Brown, who has positioned California as a global leader in the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, approved the measure as he prepares to host a summit in San Francisco of climate change leaders from around the world later this week", writes ABC.

Monday's law goes further, saying the last 40 percent of the 100 percent total can come from "carbon-free" sources, including large dams, nuclear power and even natural gas-fired power plants, if they can capture and store the carbon in the ground, which so far is an unproven technology.

Under the new law, California will aim to hit 50 percent renewable energy in 2025 and 60 percent by 2030.

Earlier this year, California became the first US state to mandate solar rooftop panels on nearly all new homes.

Critics said they were concerned that the bill would bring higher electricity prices, with opponents including the major utilities, oil interests, as well as the California Farm Bureau Federation and the California Chamber of Commerce, The Mercury News reported.

As the Trump administration rolls back federal efforts to combat climate change, California has actively pursued a leading role in the worldwide fight against global warming.

"It will not be easy", Brown tweeted after signing Senate Bill 100 and a related executive order.

The state body that regulates public utilities requires retail sellers of electricity to be working toward certain minimum requirements for the use of renewable energy sources.

"California is committed to doing whatever is necessary to meet the existential threat of climate change", Mr. Brownsaid in his signing message.

For more than a decade California has adopted ambitious laws and regulations to confront climate change. "And we're going to continue ... to transition our economy to zero carbon emissions and to have the resiliency and the sustainability that science tells us we must achieve".

Starting Wednesday, government and industry officials and climate activists will gather in San Francisco for the Global Climate Action Summit.

California already gets a substantial portion of its electricity from renewable resources.


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