California is bucking the trend of President Donald Trump by declaring an ambitious plan to utilize 100% renewable energy by 2045. Governor of the state, Jerry Brown signed the bill on Monday that will see California sit among the world leaders in sustainable practices.
In addition to mandating that the state head towards the goal, Brown signed an executive order demanding carbon neutrality throughout California. The order states that California must “remove(s) as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it emits.”
Governor says it won't happen overnight but it will happen
Governor Brown admits that the task ahead will be daunting. “It’s not going to be easy. It will not be immediate. But it must be done.” He continued, “California is committed to doing whatever is necessary to meet the existential threat of climate change.”
“California is committed to doing whatever is necessary to meet the existential threat of climate change.”
California's actions this week place it in direct opposition to the Federal Republican government led by Donald Trump who pulled out of the Paris Agreement last year and has made it clear that environmental concerns are not a priority for his government. California joins Hawaii as US states that have diverted from the national agenda and set their own environmental goals aiming for carbon-free and fossil fuel-free environments.
Under the conditions of the bill, 50% of California’s electricity must be sourced from renewable resources by the year 2025. Just five years down the track in 2030, California must increase that number to 60%.
Ambitious plan to reach 100% renewable energy by 2045 starts immediately
The bill makers hope to reach 100% renewable power use by 2045. California is on track to reach its targets, last year 32% of commercial energy sales was purchased from renewable sources.
However, the state still struggles to match supply with demand. An increase in energy storage systems will need to occur so that renewable energy can be stored effectively and made available during peak demand times.
The timing of the bill is crucial. Several studies have been released lately that show the world needs to act immediately if the effects of climate change are to be halted or even slowed.
Governments warned immediate action is needed
A new report from the European Geosciences Union states that without immediate and effective action we will pass a point of no return after which limiting global warming below 2°C in 2100 will be unlikely. The research also suggests that unless radical action is implemented now, the deadline to limit warming to 1.5°C has already passed.
"In our study, we show that there are strict deadlines for taking climate action," says Henk Dijkstra, a professor at Utrecht University in the Netherlands and one of the study authors. "We conclude that very little time is left before the Paris targets [to limit global warming to 1.5°C or 2°C] become infeasible even given drastic emission reduction strategies."
While California is on the right track, other states and nations need to quickly join them in taking a positive clear step towards combatting climate change.