Even though the White House decided to step out of the Paris Accords, many states are still working to increase their use of clean energy in an effort to fight climate change. While California has already invested in alternative energy sources like wind, solar, and hydro, a new set of bills looks to take it to the next level.
According to IFL Science, the current governor of California, Democrat Jerry Brown, has extended the cap-and-trade program for an additional 10 years. This puts an upper limit on carbon dioxide emissions by individual companies and provides a trade network for buying and selling the allowances. If a business lowers their emissions below their allotment, they can sell the excess to organizations that are struggling to meet the requirements.
Another bill working its way through the California legislature would require the state to produce 100 percent of its electricity needs from renewable sources by the year 2045.
Based on the current use of clean energy and upcoming projects, California is on track for producing about 50 percent of their electricity from alternative sources by 2026, a few years earlier than the original 2030 deadline.
If the bill is passed into law, California will be the second state dedicated to reaching the 100 percent mark for the generation of renewable electricity. The first state that made that commitment was Hawaii.
Both of the bills aim to reduce man-made climate change. Speaking about the issue, Brown said, “If we don’t do something about it, it is the end of the world as we know it.”
Brown and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who authored the original cap-and-trade legislation over 10 years ago, are recognized for the actions related to climate advocacy. Speaking about climate change, Schwarzenegger said, “We do not have to wait for Washington to take action.”
Since President Donald Trump stated the US was withdrawing from the Paris Accords, Brown has signed multiple climate change agreements with the international community, pledging California’s support of such initiatives. Brown has also set up a coalition of states known as the Climate Alliance that has chosen to dedicate themselves to fighting global warming.