California Governor Signs Historic Bill on the Eve of Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco

On the eve of the Global Climate Action Summit, Jerry Brown signs SB100 into law

Where ambition finds a home

World leaders and participants from around the world are gathering this week in San Francisco for the Global Climate Action Summit. The goal of the summit is to "take ambition to the next level."

Since agreed to in Paris in December 2015 and signed on Earth Day the following year, the Paris Agreement has looked to "ratcheting of ambition" remains the key mystery ingredient essential to realizing the "spirit of Paris." That ambition comes in fits and starts, looking for somewhere to call home.

As is often the case, that home is California.

Today, California Governor Jerry Brown signed state Senate Bill 100 into law, setting the goal of transforming the 5th largest economy in the world into a 100 percent clean energy economy.

Following is a statement from Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune:

The signing of SB100 solidifies California’s position as a climate leader

SACRAMENTO-- Today, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 100 (SB100) into law, setting the fifth largest economy in the world on a path to 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. SB100 builds on California’s clean energy leadership by establishing bold new clean energy targets for the state. California is now the largest global economy to commit to 100 percent renewable energy.

In response, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune released the following statement:

“It's impossible to overstate how significant it is for a state as large and influential as California to commit to 100 percent clean energy.

“California is showing the world that a transition to 100 percent clean energy is within reach and it will continue to drive the transition away from fossil fuels -- and it is doing this while the federal government abandons clean energy.

“Senate Bill 100 reflects the state’s commitment to reduce climate and air pollution, and it builds on the ingenuity and the strength of its workforce.

“Today, over 90 percent of Californians live in an area where the air is unhealthy to breathe. Leaving dirty fuels behind is the only way to deliver clean, breathable air, especially in the communities of color and low-income communities that are home to dirty fossil fuel infrastructure. Moving to 100 percent clean energy will protect all Californians from the dangers of fossil fuel pollution.

“California has long been a leader. Now, its commitment to 100 percent clean energy will serve to inspire even more leadership throughout the country and around the globe in the transition away from fossil fuels.”

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Background on Senate Bill 100: Senate Bill 100 (SB100) will move California away from dirty fuels like methane gas and towards 100% clean, zero-carbon and renewable sources of energy like wind, solar, and geothermal.

SB100, includes an amendment to California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). An RPS is a regulatory standard requiring a certain amount of energy to come from renewable sources like solar and wind. Currently, the California’s RPS requires half of all electricity delivered by utilities to come from renewable sources of energy by 2030.

SB100 builds on California’s clean energy leadership by establishing bold new targets for the state. SB100 creates a new RPS target of 60 percent of the electricity in our state generated by from renewable sources by 2030. It also establishes that the remaining 40 percent come from zero-carbon sources by 2045. The legislation creates flexibility for California between 2030 and 2045 for new clean, renewable technologies to emerge as the state pursues 100 percent clean energy by 2045.

Photo by Karsten Würth (@inf1783) on Unsplash

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Thomas Schueneman
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