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

by Bill McKibben, Rolling Stone


  • 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.

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

by Bill McKibben, Rolling Stone


  • 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.

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Senator McGuire on SB 350 – big climate legislation that could have been bigger

California Senator Mike McGuire recently
spoke at a business breakfast hosted by The Climate Center’s Business for Clean Energy program
at Labcon in Petaluma on September 17th. There were several climate and energy bills being considered by the legislature
before the session ended. The biggest was SB 350 which passed after being
amended at the last minute and now awaits the Governor’s signature.

McGuire started by saying this year was
“a good year for big oil.” He explained that after intense lobbying
by oil companies, legislators stripped out the provision in SB 350 for reducing
petroleum consumption in California by 50%. McGuire’s own bill, SB 788, to
close a loophole in the ban on off shore drilling, could not get out of
committee because of oil industry pressure.

Nonetheless, McGuire emphasized that the
passage of SB 350 is landmark legislation. It increases California’s clean
energy mix to 50 percent and also increases energy efficiency in buildings by
50 percent by 2030. It also includes new regulations that will potentially boost
the energy efficiency industry the way solar has been unleashed over the last
decade by creating metered efficiency and a pay for performance market. For
more details on the bill see Tom Steyer’s recent article in the Sacramento Bee>

By Barry Vesser, The Climate Center.

2015 Legislative Session ReCap

by Woody Hastings  |   September 16, 2015


The 2015 legislative season came
to a close on Friday September 11th. Several bills that the Center
for Climate Protection endorsed were either extended as two-year bills that
will be taken up again when the next session begins in January, were enacted
with significant amendments, or were enacted largely as originally written. Here
are highlights that relate to climate and energy:

SB 350

SB 350 was the omnibus piece of
legislation by Senators Kevin de León and Mark Leno aimed at addressing the
climate crisis in three ways: 1) reaching 50% renewables statewide, 2)
improving building efficiency statewide by 50%, and 3) reducing petroleum use
in transportation by 50%. All three goals are to be attained by 2030. At one
point during the session, some amendments were introduced that would have made
significant changes to the rules affecting Community Choice programs.
Thankfully, those amendments were modified to be very workable.. Fierce
opposition from the petroleum industry threatened to scuttle the entire bill. In
the end, SB 350 was sent to the Governor for his signature with the petroleum
requirement removed

SB 32

SB 32, by climate champion Fran Pavley,
is aimed at setting an enforceable greenhouse gas reduction target of 80% below
1990 levels by 2050, the level identified by the international scientific
community as necessary to stave off the worst effects of climate change. The
bill includes enforceable interim goals. It is now a two-year bill that will be
revisited in January.

SB 246

SB 246, by Senator Bob
Wieckowski, establishes an “Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency
Program” in the Governor’s office, within the set of laws established by the
Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32). The Climate Center
was an early endorser of this bill.

SB 185

SB 185 (de León), approved by the
legislature a few days before the closing bell, prohibits the California Public
Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and California State Teachers’
Retirement System (CalSTRS) from investing in coal companies.

AB 1110

AB 1110 was one of the most
controversial bills this session, at least for Community Choice policy
observers and stakeholders. This bill, by Assemblymember by Phil Ting, had on
its face a noble and laudable goal: standardized greenhouse gas reporting
methodologies for all load-serving entities. However, as is often the case, the
devil is in the details. The bill, whether intentional or not, would have
prohibited Community Choice programs from counting out-of-state wind or hydro
power as renewable, when it clearly is. It has already been improved, and is
still in the works as a two-year bill.

These two-year bills and many
others will likely emerge next year, so stay tuned for more climate and energy
news coming out of Sacramento in 2016!

Woody Hastings is the Renewable Energy Implementation Manager at The Climate Center. He can be reached