Kamala Harris’ Plan For International Climate Cooperation Could Smooth the Transition From Fossil Fuels

by Aimee Barnes, State of the Planet


  • Senator Kamala Harris’ “Climate Plan for the People” platform during her Presidential campaign highlighted the creation of an international coalition to manage the transition away from fossil fuel production
  • In order to reach the best-case climate scenario as proposed by the Paris Agreement, the world will need to adapt a rapid phaseout of net global carbon dioxide emissions and deep reductions greenhouse gases
  • The GHG emissions contained in present estimates of global fossil fuel reserves equal three times the “carbon budget” and burning these reserves could add up to 2,900 Gt of CO2 to the atmosphere
    •  a third of oil reserves, half of gas reserves, and over 80 percent of current coal reserves globally would need to remain unused from 2010 to 2050 even to meet the less ambitious 2°C target.
  • Many countries around the globe have implemented limits on supplying fossil fuels by banning drilling and oil reserve exploration
  • Canada, Norway, and Spain are some of the countries working towards a just transition of labor for their fossil fuel workers
  • Tackling a managed decline and just transition as a global collective has the potential to be more impactful on managing economic impacts of the transition away from fossil fuels
  • Harris’ climate plan proposed convening major emitters in early 2021, focusing on climate change, the global economy, and a worldwide phase out of fossil fuels
  • Potential declarations and commitments from the plan could be: planning for work force transitions, accelerating away from the fossil fuel economy, the requirement need to reach a 1.5 degree C scenario

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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Harris and Ocasio-Cortez team up on a Climate ‘Equity’ Bill

by Ilana Cohen, Inside Climate News


  • California Senator Kamala Harris and Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez unveiled an updated version of their Climate Equity Act that was initially released a year ago as Senator Harris was running for the Democratic Presidential nomination
  • The Climate Equity Act would:
    • Create an Office of Climate and Environmental Justice Accountability 
    • Require the government to consider the impact of any environmental legislation or regulation on low-income communities by using an equity score created by climate experts and community leaders to assess the equity impacts of new legislation
    • Redirect capital to marginalized communities of color by increasing the diversity of recipients of federal grants and loans in order to make these opportunities more accessible
  • Representative Ocasio-Cortez explains that diversity is needed while creating new policies:

For too long, policies that affect communities of color have been determined by a few white men in a room in Washington… I’m proud to partner with Senator Harris on a bill that will pave the way for a new, inclusionary way of doing things in D.C.”

Senator Kamala Harris is Presidential Nominee Joe Biden’s pick for Vice President. Centering equitable climate legislation and policies for California’s frontline communities is one of The Climate Center’s guiding principles

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California civic leaders champion climate change

While the national stage is looking rather bleak, in California there’s plenty to be grateful for when it comes to climate protection champions in public service.

  • Governor Jerry Brown has been leading climate protection efforts for several years.  In September of 2016, he signed SB 32, which requires California to slash greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030, a much more ambitious target than the previous goal of hitting 1990 levels by 2020
  • Senator Barbara Boxer is a huge proponent of climate protection legislation, and has proposed pricing carbon, protecting communities from fracking, and investing in energy efficiency and sustainable energy.
  • Kamala Harris has indicated that she will also do everything she can to promote climate protection legislation, including protecting Obama’s clean power plan and creating clean energy jobs.

In addition, California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) released a statement in response to the recent election of Donald Trump, a climate change denier, in which they said, “We are not going to allow one election to reverse generations of progress at the height of our historic diversity, scientific advancement, economic output, and sense of global responsibility.”

We are grateful today for these leaders who are protecting this planet for future generations.