| Press Release

California lawmakers vote to approve billions in cuts to climate programs

System Change Not Climate Change
Sign reading "System Change Not Climate Change." Photo via Canva.

SACRAMENTO — Moments ago, the California legislature passed AB 107, the Budget Act of 2024. As expected following Governor Newsom’s May revise, this budget includes billions in cuts and deferrals to climate spending, impacting programs for wildfire resilience, distributed clean energy, sustainable agriculture, and more.

In response, The Climate Center’s Chief Operating Officer Barry Vesser said:

“The climate crisis isn’t going away just because California has a budget deficit. We are heartened to see some funding restored for programs that make climate solutions accessible to frontline communities — especially the Equitable Building Decarbonization program, Clean Cars 4 All, and initiatives to support active transportation — but the overall outlook is grim. We’re especially disappointed that the legislature zeroed out funding for electric school buses, further exposing our children to harmful diesel pollution. We know this program is important to Governor Newsom and we hope to see him restore it.

“With about two weeks left before the governor must sign a final budget, we urge him to eliminate all subsidies and tax breaks for fossil fuel corporations and reinvest those funds in life-saving climate programs.”

“And with the deficit expected to extend into future years, it’s critical that Governor Newsom and the legislature put a bond to fund climate programs on the November ballot. A climate bond will provide stable funding to ensure that Californians are prepared for worsening impacts from extreme climate events. Heat waves, wildfires, and other climate disasters aren’t letting up, so neither can California.”

In January, The Climate Center and more than 70 other environmental organizations joined state lawmakers on a letter urging Governor Newsom to eliminate all state fossil fuel subsidies. The letter outlines billions of dollars in potential budget savings and points out that companies like Chevron benefit particularly from a loophole enabling it to store assets in tax haven countries.

Furthermore, more than 170 environmental and environmental justice organizations have rallied around a set of bond priorities to make our lands, waters, and communities resilient to devastating climate impacts. These include programs to: 

  • Incentivize regenerative agricultural practices
  • Increase trees cover to combat the urban heat island effect;
  • Restore coastal and near-shore ecosystems that buffer against sea-level rise
  • Develop the workforce needed for wildfire resiliency

Assuming AB 107 is delivered to Governor Newsom by the statutory deadline of June 15, he will have until June 27 to sign a final budget. 



Ryan Schleeter, Communications Director, The Climate Center: ryan@theclimatecenter.org, (415) 342-2386

About The Climate Center: 

The Climate Center is a climate and energy policy nonprofit working to rapidly reduce climate pollution at scale, starting in California. We are a think-tank, do-tank working to turn bold ideas into action for a climate-safe future. Our flagship Climate-Safe California campaign is a unique and comprehensive effort to make California the first state in the nation to reach carbon negative. www.theclimatecenter.org