Legislative Staff Briefing

May 14, 2021 2:00 to 3:00 PM PST

Hosted by The Climate Center

Briefing on a new report:

California must accelerate the timeline for climate action

by Daniel Kammen, Teenie Matlock, Manuel Pastor, David Pellow, Veerabhadran Ramanathan, Tom Steyer, Leah Stokes, and Feliz Ventura.

Daniel Kammen, Veerabhadran Ramanathan, and Feliz Ventura will present the conclusions of the report, which provides more evidence supporting Climate-Safe California‘s goals.

Report Highlights

  • Climate change is occurring at a faster, more destructive rate than previously understood which demands California take much more aggressive action.
  • California is already in the early stages of a multi-decade drought made severe by climate change, and is expected to pass the 1.5C threshold of dangerous warming as early as 2027.
  • Doing nothing or pursuing timid climate solutions will cost California trillions of dollars in destructive impacts to our economy, public health, equity, and way of life.
  • Bold policy changes now are critical to the pursuit of effective, equitable solutions.
  • Aggressive targets are needed and achievable.
  • There is a pathway that will reassert California’s climate leadership and build the economy.


Dr. Daniel Kammen is the Distinguished Professor of Energy at the University of California, Berkeley, with parallel appointments in the Energy and Resources Group, the Goldman School of Public Policy, and the department of Nuclear Engineering. Kammen is the founding director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL), Co-Director of the Berkeley Institute of the Environment, and Director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center. He has founded or is on the board of over 10 companies, and has served the State of California and US federal government in expert and advisory capacities.

Dr. Kammen was educated in physics at Cornell and Harvard, and held postdoctoral positions at the California Institute of Technology and Harvard. He has served as a contributing or coordinating lead author on various reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change since 1999. The IPCC shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He serves on the Advisory Committee for Energy & Environment for the X-Prize Foundation.

He has authored or co-authored 12 books, written more than 300 peer-reviewed journal publications, testified more than 40 times to U.S. state and federal congressional briefings, and has provided various governments with more than 50 technical reports. Dr. Kammen serves on two National Academy of Sciences boards and panels and is a fellow of the American Physical Society.


Professor Veerabhadran Ramanathan is Presidential Chair in Climate Sustainability at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego.  He is an international leader in the science of climate change and in developing solutions for slowing global warming.  In 1975, he discovered that the greenhouse effects of non-CO2 pollutant gases like Chlorofluorocarbons can warm the planet in significant ways. Based on his research, the UN created the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) to mitigate non-CO2 super pollutants. He developed the Bending the Curve: Climate Solutions education protocol which is being taught at many campuses in the US, Sweden and Taiwan, and led a team of 50 faculty at the University of California to publish 10 solutions to the climate change problem.

Dr. Ramanathan was honored as the science advisor for Pope Francis’ holy see delegation to the historic 2015 Paris climate summit. In 2013, the UN environment program named him Champion of Earth; he is an elected member of US National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

He is the co-editor and co-author of many books including: Bending the Curve: Climate Change Solutions, UC Press, 2019; and Health of People, Health of Planet, Our Responsibility, Springer, 2020.

Feliz Ventura focuses on making the business case for transformational investments for clients shaping the built environment in the 21st century at Hatch Urban Solutions. She leads analyses of the new economic realities that stem from climate change for some of the world’s largest cities, governments and companies needing to make decisions for long-lived investments, such as water/wastewater, energy, transit and real estate, that will be subject to significant climate impacts. Ms. Ventura analyzes how changing climate conditions impact the economic activity enabled by our physical, social and ecological infrastructure to define what is at stake, what benefits accrue from adaptation, and how to leverage these benefits for investment. She guides clients through using this information to develop climate adaptation actions and strives to use data to communicate how both climate impacts and adaptation strategies will be experienced unevenly across communities with varying capacity to respond to these changes.