California has played a vital role in climate and energy policy for decades. From pioneering energy efficiency initiatives for buildings and appliances nearly half a century ago, to setting the first-in-the-nation tailpipe emissions standards for cars and one of the first statewide renewable electricity standards in 2002, to putting the state at the forefront of climate action with a commitment to reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 with Assembly Bill (AB) 32 in 2006, California has helped lead America’s energy policy solutions for a low-carbon future. In recent years, California has renewed its commitment anew with vigorous diplomacy and prolific output of major climate legislation. Perhaps its most impressive accomplishment was the two-thirds legislative supermajority that Governor Jerry Brown assembled to pass AB 398, which extended the state’s cap-and-trade system authority through 2030 – no carbon pricing program has ever garnered such a level of support in a legislative vote or citizen ballot.
Presentation of Energy Innovation’s actions on their official website, EnergyInnovation.org.
Adapted from The Impact of California’s Green Policy, Energy Innovation, 2017.
Building for Climate Change, cover for Hawaii Business Magazine, Michael Byers, September 2018.
Who bears the greatest responsibility for climate change in the U.S.? Discuss this question with your classmates. Then, recap by writing a short article on the class’s collaborative wall. The best contributors will be published on the school website.