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California Will Go 100 Percent Renewable By 2045

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Jonathan O'Callaghan

Senior Staff Writer

clockSep 11 2018, 15:55 UTC

Wang An Qi/Shutterstock

California is doing a pretty good job of flying the flag for renewable energy in the US, as the state has just announced it will aim to bolster its climate targets.

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On Monday, September 10, Governor Jerry Brown signed a law that committed the state to going 100 percent renewable by 2045. And he didn’t hide that the law was signed in defiance of Trump pulling out of the Paris climate agreement.

“[The bill] is sending a message to California and the world that we are going to meet the Paris agreement and we are going to continue down that path to transition our economy,” he told reporters.

“Trump has made himself an outlaw on the matter of climate change,” he said in further comments to Politico. “And since climate change is [an] existential threat, I would say that doing what he’s doing to undermine efforts that will save lives and prevent catastrophe for California, for America and the world, is about as reprehensible as any act that any American president has ever been guilty of.”

The clean energy bill was sponsored by Californian Democratic state Senator Kevin de León, who is challenging fellow Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein for her seat in the fall. De León said the legislation was a “labor of love”.

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Impressively, The Hill notes that this makes California the largest economy in the world to commit to solely using renewable energy from solar, wind, and water. California is the second state to pledge to make their energy carbon-free, the first being Hawaii.

The state will also aim to be 60 percent renewable by 2030, an increase from a previous target of 50 percent. Currently, about one-third of its electricity comes from renewables. It’s hoped that California will eventually become carbon neutral, removing as much CO2 from the atmosphere as it emits.

Unsurprisingly, utility companies don’t seem too keen on the legislation.  “If it’s not affordable, it’s not sustainable,” Lynsey Paulo, spokesperson Pacific Gas and Electric, said in a statement.

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The announcement was made days before San Francisco will play host to the Global Climate Action Summit. As we’ve previously reported, while Trump does his best to destroy the planet, other states are taking up the mantle of tackling climate change themselves – and California just cemented its position as one of the leaders.

“Today California sends an unmistakable message to the nation and the world: Regardless of who occupies the White House, California will always lead on climate change,” de León said.


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