By Business Green / Source: BusinessGreen


California is famously the world’s eighth largest economy, home to Silicon Valley innovation, and the crucible for some of the most ambitious climate policies in the world, three facts that are not wholly unrelated.


The state’s climate policy push took another step forward this week as California Senate leader Kevin de Leon introduced a wide-ranging new package of bills designed to deliver on Governor Jerry Brown’s pledge to deliver a host of new clean tech targets for 2030.

Brown last month used his inauguration speech to mark his fourth election as governor to announce a new wave of targets, including a commitment to source half the state’s power from renewables by 2030, as well as goals to double the energy efficiency of existing buildings and cut the use of polluting road transport in half by the same date.

“I envision a wide range of initiatives: more distributed power, expanded rooftop solar, micro-grids, an energy imbalance market, battery storage, the full integration of information technology and electrical distribution and millions of electric and low-carbon vehicles,” he said at the time, adding that the targets would be met through “great thought and imagination mixed with pragmatic caution”.

The series of new legislative proposals seeks to cement Brown’s targets through a new bill, dubbed SB 350 Golden State Standards. But it also includes three additional proposals designed to further accelerate investment in clean technologies.

Firstly, package SB 32, which is authored by Senator Fran Pavley proposes a new binding target to cut greenhouse gas emissions 80 per cent against 1990 levels by 2050, arguing that “setting a clear, achievable climate pollution reduction target and identifying priorities to guide implementation will provide critical government accountability, as well as certainty to businesses investing in California for the long term”.

Secondly, bill SB 189 proposes the creation of a Committee on Maximizing Jobs and Economic Growth that would “advise and inform state clean energy and climate actions that ensure maximum job creation and economic benefits to all Californians”.

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