Insurance companies abandoning California at a faster rate, as wildfires wreak havoc

by Dale Kasler, Sacramento Bee


Highlights

  • Deputy Insurance Commissioner Bryant Henley announced that insurance companies have dropped many Californians in the Sierra foothills after the 2017 and 2018 wildfire season resulted in losses of $25 billion for those companies
  • 42,088 homeowners were sent non-renewal in the foothill counties in 2019 and had to purchase replacement coverage at double or triple their original insurance costs, many on the California FAIR Plan
  • Enrollees of the California FAIR Plan, the state’s “insurer of last resort,” jumped from 140,000 in 2018 to over 200,000 this August
  • Industry officials say climate change and other factors are making increasingly large swaths of California almost uninsurable and affordable insurance will be less easy to obtain as fire seasons intensify 

Scientists are increasingly warning that to avoid catastrophic impacts from climate change, the world’s governments must implement massive reductions of warming emissions and begin a drawdown of greenhouse gases (GHG) from the atmosphere over the decade ahead.  For a safe and healthy future for all, endorse the Climate-Safe California Platform to implement scalable solutions that can reverse the climate crisis.


Read More: https://www.sacbee.com/news/california/fires/article246561448.html

New Jersey calls for 100% EVs by 2035, a first for East Coast

by David Iaconangelo, E&E News


Highlights

  • Less than a month after Californa Governor Newsom’s executive order, New Jersey is now the first state on the East Coast to call for a ban of gas cars by 2035 in order to reach the state’s goal of 80% carbon dioxide reductions by 2050
  • The proposal from the Department of Environmental Protection works to ensure that at least 110,000 new electric vehicles are sold every year through 2025
  • For the 2035 ban to be fully implemented, either the governor or the Legislature would need to take additional action by enacting a law or through executive directives.
  • Other states that are looking to implement a gas car ban are Washington and Colorado

The Climate Center’s Climate-Safe California Platform includes solutions for clean mobility to cut greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. Governor Newsom’s recent Executive Order N-79-20 banning the sale of new gas-powered cars and trucks by 2035 is a great first step, but more is needed to secure climate stability. The Climate Center released a requested Executive Order in alignment with our Climate-Safe California Platform shortly before the Governor’s announcement. 


Read More: https://theclimatecenter.org/california-greenlights-electric-vehicle-charging-program-for-38000-new-charging-stations/

A new era of clean transportation requires new leadership

by Mary Creasman, CalMatters


Highlights

  • Transportation is responsible for about 40% of California’s emissions
  • Assembly Transportation Committee Chair Jim Frazier has stalled various efforts for cleaner transportation in California
  • Frazier pushed back against the Clean Cars Bill that would have transitioned cars to zero-emission by 2040 and worked against former Governor Jerry Brown’s goal of putting 5 million electric cars on the road by 2030
  • Frazier also asked the California Air Resources Board to suspend all proposed air quality regulations until 2021
  • Frazier has received thousands of dollars in money from oil companies and has held more than $1 million in Chevron stock
  • Removing Frazier and replacing any members of the Transportation Committee who won’t work to secure a clean transportation future is vital for a safe and healthy California

Increased air pollution from fossil fuel emissions makes all of us more vulnerable to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The Climate Center’s Climate-Safe California Platform includes solutions for clean mobility to cut greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. Governor Newsom’s recent Executive Order N-79-20 banning the sale of new gas-powered cars and trucks by 2035 is a great first step, but more is needed to secure climate stability. The Climate Center released a requested Executive Order in alignment with our Climate-Safe California Platform shortly before the Governor’s announcement. 


Read More: https://calmatters.org/commentary/my-turn/2020/10/a-new-era-of-clean-transportation-requires-new-leadership-on-the-assemblys-transportation-committee/

These 4 toss-up Senate races might determine the fate of the planet

by Shannon Osaka, Grist


Highlights

There are 35 Senate seats being voted on this November, with Maine, North Carolina, Iowa, and Montana being deciding factors on whether a new administration could pass effective climate legislation.

Iowa – Joni Ernst (R) vs. Theresa Greenfield (D) 

  • Joni Ernst previously received funding from Charles and the late David Koch and is anti- Green New Deal
  • Theresa Greenfield argues that the country needs to take “urgent climate action” and wants the state to have the first net-zero farm industry in the world
  • Greenfield is currently leading Ernst, 47% to 43%

Montana – Steve Daines (R) vs. Steve Bullock (D) 

  • Governor Steve Bullock commissioned the Climate Solutions Plan, expanding energy efficiency and boosting renewables across the state but still supports fracking
  • Senator Steve Daines, the Republican incumbent, is not a proponent of a carbon tax and believes it to be a job killer
  • Bullock tied with Daines at 48%

Maine – Susan Collins (R) vs. Sara Gideon (D) 

  • Senator Susan Collins is a moderate Republican who has supported some climate legislation in the past but has now received 21% on the League of Conservation Voters scorecard
  • Sara Gideon has put several landmark climate bills through the state legislature, including one that requires the state to get all of its electricity from renewable energy by 2050
  • Gideon has a one point lead over Collins

North Carolina – Thom Tillis (R) vs. Cal Cunningham (D) 

  • Cal Cunningham opposes the Green New Deal but wants more renewable energy and believes the U.S. should rejoin the Paris climate agreement
  • Thom Tillis has revoked his stance against human-caused climate change but still refuses to support the Paris agreement and believes market-based solutions will solve the crisis
  • Cunningham is polling ahead of Tillis, 37% to 41%

This upcoming election will determine how many climate champions will be in office to pass important environmental and climate legislation. See resources on how to vote for the climate and how to vote early in this 2020 presidential election. 


Read More: https://grist.org/politics/these-4-toss-up-senate-races-joni-ernst-susan-collins-cal-cunningham-might-determine-the-fate-of-the-planet-and-climate-change/

Washington State voters support transition to electric cars by 2030

from Coltura


Highlights

  • New polling shows that 59% of voters in Washington state support policy that would require cars and light trucks from 2030 or later be electric in order to be registered in-state
  • These voters believe that this policy would have positive results in efforts to fight climate change and would benefit the health of Washington residents
  • This comes after California Governor Gavin Newsom announced banning gas cars in his state by 2035, five years after a Washington policy may take effect
  • The potential bill, “Clean Cars 2030,” would require that all new passenger vehicles be electric by 2030
  • Matthew Metz, co-executive director of Coltura believes this law would not require large sums of money to be spent by the state:

“It achieves these goals with minimal government spending by creating large, guaranteed EV markets that will incentivize the private sector to invest heavily in electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.”


The Climate Center’s Climate-Safe California Platform includes solutions for clean mobility to cut greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. Governor Newsom’s recent Executive Order N-79-20 banning the sale of new gas-powered cars and trucks by 2035 is a great first step, but more is needed to secure climate stability. The Climate Center released a requested Executive Order in alignment with our Climate-Safe California Platform shortly before the Governor’s announcement. 


Read More: https://www.coltura.org/coltura-news/2020/10/7/washington-state-voters-support-transition-to-electric-cars-by-2030

Three-quarters of Americans want to know more about presidential candidates’ plans to tackle global warming: poll

by Bill McKibben, Rolling Stone


Highlights

  • New data compiled by Yale University shows that an average of 76% of US adults expressed interest in news stories about the climate plans from the Trump Administration and Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden 
  • In California, 80% of people expressed interest in the candidates’ climate plans as the state experiences more frequent and massive wildfires due to the climate crisis
  • Neighboring states Oregon and Washington saw 79% of people interested in the climate plans
  • A separate study by the Pew Research Center found that 60% of Americans find climate change a major threat to the country, an increase from 44% in the last decade
  • Democrats express more concern about climate change compared to Republicans
  • Politicians in the Republican party claim the climate crisis will be best solved by the market and tech solutions while also claiming that climate change should not be the country’s top priority 

Scientists are increasingly warning that to avoid catastrophic impacts from climate change, the world’s governments must implement massive reductions of warming emissions and begin a drawdown of greenhouse gases (GHG) from the atmosphere over the decade ahead.  For a safe and healthy future for all, endorse the Climate-Safe California Platform to implement scalable solutions that can reverse the climate crisis.


Read More: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/political-commentary/bil-mckibben-2020-election-climate-crisis-1064873/

Vote like the future of humanity depends on it — because it does

by Bill McKibben, Rolling Stone


Highlights

  • The US withdrawal of the Paris Agreement will be finalized on November 4th, one day after the presidential election 
  • Climate change is a top-tier issue for Americans, particularly youth who consider this one of the most important issues of their time, as climate impacts intersect with race, equity, and justice 
  • The world has warmed 1 degree C and has resulted in the melting of arctic ice, drought, and extended wildfire seasons and may rise more than 3 degrees Celsius from preindustrial levels due to lack of fast climate action
  • New studies show that the United States could cut its current power sector emissions 80% by 2035 and create 20 million jobs along the way
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden and Califonia Senator Kamala Harris have the best climate policies on a presidential ticket ever
  • Another four years of a Trump presidency will guarantee more anti-environment legislation that will put the Earth on the fast track to rising temperatures

Scientists are increasingly warning that to avoid catastrophic impacts from climate change. Make sure to vote for candidates who care about stopping the climate crisis. For a safe and healthy future for all, endorse the Climate-Safe California Platform to implement scalable solutions that can reverse the climate crisis.


Read More: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/political-commentary/bil-mckibben-2020-election-climate-crisis-1064873/

Can China go net-zero? Two charts show just how ambitious Xi Jinping’s goal is

 


Highlights

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping has announced that his country aims to reach peak carbon emissions before 2030 and become carbon-neutral by 2060
  • A newly released blueprint for the country’s energy transition was created by the Tsinghua University’s Institute of Energy, Environment, and Economy
  • To reach their carbon neutrality goals, there will be a projected 587% increase in solar energy generation between 2025 and 2060
  • Many are skeptical that China will reach their goals by 2060 as coal-fired electricity won’t be phased out until around 2050
  • Coal, oil, and natural gas would still be generating about 13 percent of the country’s energy in their new plan

Image from Grist

  • China would still emit 200 million tons of CO2, nearly 3% of the United States’ carbon emissions in 2018

Scientists are increasingly warning that to avoid catastrophic impacts from climate change, the world’s governments must implement massive reductions of warming emissions and begin a drawdown of greenhouse gases (GHG) from the atmosphere over the decade ahead.  For a safe and healthy future for all, endorse the Climate-Safe California Platform to implement scalable solutions that can reverse the climate crisis.


Read More: https://grist.org/climate/can-china-go-net-zero-two-charts-show-just-how-ambitious-xi-jinpings-goal-is/

Can California fight climate change and provide good jobs?

by Jeong Park, The Sacramento Bee


Highlights

  • Oil and gas jobs provide people with middle-class incomes and are one of the few sectors to provide good-paying jobs without needing a bachelors degree or from those who have a criminal record
  • Since the fossil fuels industry is one of the biggest employers in the Central Valley, many are afraid that clean energy mandates will leave their communities jobless
  • Clean energy jobs do not pay as well as fossil fuel jobs and the state must ensure that these jobs have good pay and benefits 
  • Carol Zabin, director of the Green Energy Program at UC Berkeley Labor Center, says the state should provide apprenticeship and training programs that guarantee jobs after the courses are completed
  • Zabin also recommends project labor agreements where clean energy projects rely on local labor
  • Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez highlights the importance of making sure there is an emphasis on job creation as the state moves away from fossil fuels:

“Jobs can’t be an afterthought to any climate change legislation.”


Fossil fuel divestment and the transition to 100% clean energy is critical to achieving The Climate Center’s goals under the Climate-Safe California Platform. The Climate Center’s guiding principles in achieving our goals include striving to close the climate gap and ensuring a just transition for workers.


Read More: https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article246092400.html

Governor Newsom has taken a bold first step. Urge him to do more.

After several weeks of record-breaking heat, fires, and smoke, Governor Newsom today reiterated that we are in a climate emergency and announced Executive Order N-79-20 requiring 100% of all new in-state sales of cars and light trucks to be zero-emissions vehicles by 2035. 

This makes California the first state in the nation to ban new gas-powered cars.

Please join us in thanking the governor for his bold action!

With transportation being the single largest source of global warming pollutants in California and nationwide, today’s announcement is a major step forward. As the biggest car market in the US, California wields significant influence on other car markets across the country and the world. 

We are also pleased that the new Executive Order also includes provisions for phasing out fracking in California, as well as publication by next summer of plans to support and “expeditiously” implement a just transition for workers employed in fossil fuel industries. 

Today’s announcement is a significant step toward the comprehensive policy recommendations The Climate Center has been recommending recently to the Newsom Administration and other state leaders. 

In fact, the Climate Center recently sent our proposed comprehensive DRAFT Executive Order to the Governor, based on the latest science and rapidly worsening climate reality, and building on Climate-Safe California.

The governor anticipates issuing additional Executive Orders over the weeks ahead.

To fully address the climate emergency, we urge him to accelerate California’s existing greenhouse gas reduction targets to achieve 80% below 1990 emissions levels and net-negative emissions by 2030. We also request that he commit to other key steps including:

  • an immediate halt to new gas and oil drilling permits, a start to the phase-out of fossil fuel production and exports, 
  • a commitment to 100% clean electricity by 2030, 
  • a dramatic ramp-up of investments in nature-based sequestration through habitat and soils management, and,
  • major investments in community resilience, including regulatory changes that open up markets for clean energy microgrids and decentralized clean energy. 

Thank you Governor Newsom for re-asserting California’s climate leadership at this critical moment!

While today’s announcement is a significant step forward, the latest science demands more aggressive actions be taken sooner for the health of our planet and the health of our communities, especially frontline lower-income communities and communities of color. 

We urge Governor Newsom to issue additional Executive Orders to fully address the climate crisis.

California’s climate policies are still substantially behind what is required to secure a climate-safe future. They are also behind new national proposals which include achieving 100% clean electricity by 2030, major investments in natural and working lands for carbon sequestration, and scaled up community resilience efforts, including clean energy microgrids. 

California law currently calls for just 60% renewable energy by 2030, has no major programs investing in natural and working lands, and only aspires to carbon neutrality by 2045. It is not enough! California must do more for the country to realize these urgently needed proposed national goals.

Thank Governor Newsom today for his history-making Executive Order and support him doing more. 

As part of numerous Climate Week 2020 NYC virtual activities, Governor Newsom will be hosting California Climate Action Day, September 24 from 9 AM – 2 PM, including a discussion with Van Jones about how California can develop an aggressive climate change agenda. The events can be viewed after on the Governor’s YouTube page here.  

Take action today to let the Governor know that we support his taking the bold, urgently needed action now!