California is an anomaly for climate action in the United States. With its unique blend of progressive politics, high tech and environmentally conscious industry, and an abundance of natural beauty—the state is able to pursue ambitious climate policies. However unique, the success of California’s bold action proves that responding to climate challenges empowers communities and is an economically sound path.
The state’s environmental achievements make it a leader that the whole world looks to. California has more solar capacity than the rest of the country combined, and has developed the solar industry more quickly and to a greater degree than many imagined possible. The state already has implemented a cap-and-trade policy, and has pushed the limits of emission cut-backs. As the president pro tempore of the state senate, Kevin de León, puts it: “we have successfully delinked G.D.P. from carbon, and what that means is that we have had continued economic growth, we added 498,000 jobs, more jobs than any other state in the country in 2014, and at the same time we have greatly reduced carbon emissions.”
California shows that aggressive climate action from climate leaders can empower all sectors of the state. Jobs will grow, the economy will boom, and emissions will plummet so long as local, regional and state officials are bold enough to lead the way. Your city can begin this journey by committing to climate action at the Path to Positive Communities.
BERKELEY, California — California is cruising toward its 2020 goal for increasing renewable energy and is setting far more ambitious targets for the future. Its large-scale solar arrays produced more energy in 2014 than those in all other states combined. Half the nation’s solar home rooftops are in the state, and thousands more are added each week.
With its progressive politics, high-tech bent and abundant sunshine, California is fast ramping up its production of clean electricity, setting an example its leaders hope the rest of the country, and other nations, will follow as they seek to cut emissions of climate-warming carbon dioxide.
“It’s hard to overstate the importance of California in terms of renewables,” said William Nelson, head of North American analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “It’s like an experiment in terms of how quickly we can add solar to the grid.”