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August 10, 2021

By Suzanne Potter, Public News Service (CA)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Advocates contended a new United Nations report Climate change report United Nations 08/09/2021 waving red flags on climate change is particularly critical for California, where megafires and persistent drought already are becoming the norm.

The report also predicts up to a foot of sea-level rise by mid-century.

Mary Creasman, CEO of the California League of Conservation Voters, said the way forward is to wean our transportation and buildings off of oil and gas, and stop using single use-plastics, made from petroleum.

“We need a government that is going to mandate and regulate corporate polluters, fossil-fuel industries, carbon emissions, to get to the change we need by 2030. That’s the solution,” Creasman asserted.

Nonetheless, this year California lawmakers have stalled or killed bills to require new buildings be all-electric, hold corporate polluters accountable and ban new fracking permits.

Advocates are gathering signatures for a ballot initiative to limit single-use plastics. Opponents argued the measures would burden an economy already hard-hit by COVID.

Creasman urged lawmakers to take action on a national scale from the Biden administration and Congress, which will depend on the results of the 2022 midterm election.

“The problem is that we don’t have the political will and the political power to do it at the rate and scale that science tells us we have to,” Creasman lamented.

California has been a leader on other fronts in the battle against climate change. The state will require that by 2035, all personal cars sold will be zero-emission vehicles, with clean trucks mandated by 2045.

The state has set a goal to preserve 30% of lands and water by 2030 and become carbon-neutral by 2045.

References:  Climate change report United Nations 08/09/2021
Single-use plastic proposal American Chemistry Council 07/13/2021
Senate Bill 32 2021
Senate Bill 260 2021
Senate Bill 467 2021
Proposed ballot initiative Calif. Sec’y of State 01/09/2020
Emissions targets Office of the Governor 09/23/2020
Carbon neutrality order Office of the Governor 09/10/2018