Continuing the state’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change, California lawmakers approved expansive legislation Wednesday that will require ambitious new renewable energy and pollution standards over the coming decades. “This package of bills will put California on a pathway to sustainable economic growth,” President Pro Tem Kevin de León said at a news conference following the vote, “protecting the health of our communities and the integrity of our environment, while also spreading a wave of innovation in our energy and transportation sectors.”
Gov. Jerry Brown, touting what he called a “high bar” on climate change, on Wednesday issued an ambitious new greenhouse gas reduction target for the state. The target, contained in an executive order and expected to be folded into pending legislation, seeks to reduce emissions in California 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.
California performed extraordinarily well in the clean energy industry last year, nearly tripling the number of jobs created in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared to the same period of the previous year, according to a recent economic report. This is in stark contrast to the industry as a whole, which took a major blow last year due to ongoing uncertainty about environmental public policy.