California steps up efforts to battle climate change

World Today

California is ready for battle when it comes to climate change

California has been a leader in environmental issues and policies. And now with President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, the state says it will step up efforts to combat climate change even more.

CGTN’s May Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Follow May Lee on Twitter @mayleetv

California is ready for battle when it comes to climate change. The state, led by Governor Jerry Brown, is throwing down the gauntlet in response to President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord and that means pushing forward with defiance.

The Governor of California, Jerry Brown, had this to say. “Here we are 2017, we’re going backwards. It cannot stand. It’s not right and California will do everything it can to not only stay the course, but build more support in other states, other provinces and with other countries. So we’re not going away.”

California is aggressively pushing new climate policies and goals including the recently passed bill by the state senate to use 100 percent renewable energy by 2045.

The state has proven that business can thrive under tighter environmental regulations. The solar industry, for example, employed over 100,000 people in California in 2016 and is consistently seeing double-digit growth. Across the U.S., more people are employed in the solar power sector than the coal, gas and oil energy industries combined.

Economist Kimberly Ritter-Martinez of the LA Economic Development Corporation says, “There is money to be made in green tech, alternative fuels and the amount of investment that’s pouring into California has shown that and as long as firms show that there’s a demand for what they’re producing, they’re going to continue coming here and they’re going to continue with these kinds of businesses.”

California’s governor isn’t alone in this fight. He’s being joined by the governors of Washington state and New York to form the U.S. Climate alliance.

The same three states are also part of the Under2 Coalition, which limits the increase of the planet’s temperature to below two degrees Celsius. The coalition includes 170 jurisdictions worldwide, including several cities and provinces in China.

Governor Brown just began an official trip to China where climate issues and solutions will be addressed. Brown is already being dubbed as the unofficial climate change ambassador.

The withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord won’t kick in fully until 2020, the end of Trump’s term so a lot can happen between now and then. But, opponents of the decision aren’t taking any chances and are vowing to fight for a cleaner planet now and for future generations.