Senate Environmental Quality Committee to examine how state, locals are preparing for climate change

Senate leaders announce package of new bills to advance California's climate policy leadership

February 10, 2015

Sacramento – California state senators unveiled new legislation to strengthen California’s leadership in clean energy and combating climate change today at the state Capitol.  The proposals call for new benchmarks for energy efficiency, pollution reduction and petroleum use. Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) said the proposals would build on the policies that have made California a global leader in aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  He also announced that the Senate Environmental Quality Committee will hold an informational hearing on February 25 to examine how state and local agencies are preparing for the effects of climate change.

“For those who value fresh air, good health and a cleaner environment, turning back is not an option,” Wieckowski said.

The proposals include measures authored by Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de Leon, Senators Fran Pavley, Mark Leno and Ben Hueso to set a climate pollution reduction target of 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050; reduce petroleum use by 50 percent, have 50 percent of electricity come from renewable sources, and increase energy efficiency in all existing buildings by 50 percent by 2030; and to have the state’s largest public pension funds move their investments beyond coal.

Wieckowski also said the state must do more to have a coordinated and comprehensive approach to adapting to the threats caused by climate change.  He anticipates authoring legislation building on previous gubernatorial executive orders.

“We need to understand the impacts caused by extreme weather, severe droughts, more intense wildfires, rising sea levels and coastal erosion,” Wieckowski said.  “California policy makers need to be adapting and putting plans in place today so we are more prepared for tomorrow.”

The Senate Environmental Quality hearing will take place at 9:30 a.m., on Feb. 25 in state Capitol room 3191.  Local and state agency leaders will testify on their efforts to better prepare California on the impacts of climate change.