Climate Action

California Governor Orders Stricter Climate Regulations

Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order establishing a target of 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. The governor recognizes climate change poses a threat to the well-being, public health, natural resources, economy, and the environment of California as a result of climate change. Governor Brown explains, “I’ve set a very high bar, but it’s a bar we must meet. It’s a bar not only for California, but it’s a goal for other states, for the United States as a whole, and for other nations around the world.” This is the toughest emissions reduction order to be enacted by any government in North America. Governor Brown plans to guide state agencies’ planning and preparedness efforts by giving priority to actions that ‘prepare for uncertain climate impacts, protect the state’s most vulnerable populations and protect natural infrastructure’. The executive order also calls for state agencies to take climate change into account in their investment decisions and employ full life-cycle cost accounting to evaluate and compare infrastructure investments and alternatives. To do so, the state must require utilities to get more electricity from low-pollution sources, urge industries to cut emissions further and encourage greater numbers of cleaner cars on the roads. Governor Brown first proposed this legislation at his inaugural address in January.