CSAC Bulletin Article

Climate Change: From California to China

Environmental issues are making news at all levels of government. From the Paris Climate Agreement to the halls of the state capitol in Sacramento, this policy area has had a tumultuous start to summer.

After President Trump announced his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, Governor Brown joined with governors from New York and Washington to create the United States Climate Alliance, which will convene states dedicated to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement and continue work to combat climate change. Some subnational leadership is occurring on this issue as counties, cities, and states sign on to projects like the Under2 Coalition, complemented by the U.S. Climate and Health Alliance. California, long-time leader on climate change, recently announced that greenhouse gas emissions in the state decreased by one-third of one percent, even as the economy grew.

However, in Sacramento, environmental bills did not do very well in the final stages of the Appropriations and House of Origin deadlines in the California Legislature. Bills related to a variety of environmental topics – from cap and trade to beverage container recycling to polystyrene containers for food distribution and ocean pollution to oil and gas leaks – all failed to meet deadlines and will have to try again in the future.

CSAC recognizes the need for sustained leadership and commitment at the federal, state, regional and local levels to develop strategies to combat the effects of climate change, and supports a flexible approach to addressing climate change. While it remains to be seen if the Legislature will coalesce around a cap and trade reauthorization bill this session, CSAC will continues to advocate for funds to local governments to help reduce GHGs within their own communities in a variety of different sectors.

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