Gov. Brown just signed into law SB 32, the "most progressive climate change bill ever"

California took another major step towards fighting climate change this week with the passage of SB 32, an ambitious new plan to dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions over the next 15 years.

As the Los Angeles Times summed it up: “California will become a petri dish for international efforts to slow global warming under legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday, forcing one of the world’s largest economies to squeeze into a dramatically smaller carbon footprint.”

SB 32: The Details

SB 32 requires the state to cut emissions of greenhouse gasses to 40% below the levels that existed in 1990 by 2030.

This is considerably more ambitious than the prior target of matching the 1990 levels by 2020 and will undoubtedly have far-reaching impacts.

“Cutting emissions will affect nearly all aspects of life in the state — where people live, how they get to work, how their food is produced and where their electricity comes from,” predicted the Los Angeles Times.

SB 32

Gov. Jerry Brown joins legislative, environmental, business and community leaders in Los Angeles to sign SB 32 by Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) and AB 197 by Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella). (Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times)

SB 32 was first introduced back in December 2014 by Senator Fran Pavley and was co-authored by a long list of Senators and Assemblymembers, including Phil Ting and David Chiu, who both represent San Francisco.

The bill passed the state Assembly on August 23 by a vote of 48-31 and was approved by the state Senate on August 24 by a 25-13 vote.

The bill was then sent to the Governor, who signed it into law at a ceremony in downtown Los Angeles on September 8.

Reactions to the New Environmental Law

After the bill’s passage by the state Assembly, Assemblymember Ting called SB 32 “critically important”:

Later, at the signing ceremony, Gov. Brown praised the state for being a leader on climate change issues, saying:

“What we’re doing here is farsighted, as well as far-reaching. California is doing something that no other state has done.”

Several CA city mayors took to Twitter to publicly thank Brown for passing SB 32, including San Francisco’s own Mayor Ed Lee:

Environmental groups across the state have also posted their reaction on social media, including the Public Health Institute (headquartered in Oakland):

To learn more about this landmark legislation, read the full text of SB 32.


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