California Pledges to Make Electricity 100 Percent Clean by 2045

Gov. Jerry Brown signs into law California’s ambitious new emissions targets on Sept. 10

Gov. Jerry Brown signs into law California’s ambitious new emissions targets on Sept. 10

California has passed a law committing to exclusively carbon-free electricity sources by 2045, setting it against US President Donald Trump's energy policy.

"Continuing to drill and frack for oil and gas is not only counterproductive to efforts to meaningfully address climate change - it also poisons frontline communities, including the many people who work for the fossil fuel industry", Greenpeace said in a statement.

"There is no understating the importance of this measure", Brown said at a signing ceremony in Sacramento surrounded by state lawmakers. It's hoped that California will eventually become carbon neutral, removing as much CO2 from the atmosphere as it emits.

This action comes days before grassroots activists, mayors, governors, heads of industry and worldwide leaders convene in San Francisco for the express objective of mobilizing climate action at the Global Climate Action Summit. "This clean energy bill is also a big win for our economy and jobs, as we have already demonstrated here in California that we can improve our energy resources while making a positive economic impact".

"This summit is going to be a showcase for the whole world in terms of climate action", said Ethan Elkind, head of the climate program at the Center for Law, Energy & the Environment at the University of California, Berkeley.

"California is committed to doing whatever is necessary to meet the existential threat of climate change", said Governor Brown in his SB 100 signing message. It is more of a goal than a mandate. Electricity is responsible for 16 percent of California's greenhouse gas emissions.

California has established an ambitious goal of relying entirely on renewable energy for its electricity by the year 2045.

Here's what we know about this new era for California. The remaining electricity came from non-renewable sources, including natural gas at 33 percent. "We continue to move forward, and passing SB 100 is one of the boldest moves we can make to help save our climate and way of life". Between 2008 and 2015, the price utilities paid for solar energy dropped 77 percent.

The order directs several state agencies to set targets for artificially removing carbon dioxide from the air through a process known as "sequestration".

In a poll in July by the Public Policy Institute of California, a non-partisan research organization, 67 percent of likely voters said they favored the 100 percent clean energy measure, and 21 percent opposed it. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) requires the state to obtain all of its electricity from clean sources - such as solar, wind and hydropower - by 2045. It also is less restrictive on technology, allowing any carbon-free resources to qualify including large hydroelectric dams and nuclear power.

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