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.
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!
- New Executive Order from Governor Newsom on biodiversity, climate and working lands: A step in the right direction - October 8, 2020
- Governor Newsom has taken a bold first step. Urge him to do more. - September 23, 2020
- No More Business as Usual: Climate-Safe California and the path to net-negative emissions by 2030 (class lecture pdf) - September 20, 2020