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Brown Rallies Mayors to Lead Climate Change Fight
SACRAMENTO – At a meeting with the League of California Cities, California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today challenged local officials to “jump in now and lead the California campaign against oil dependency and worsening climate change.” Brown’s meeting with the League comes on the heels of a landmark agreement with San Bernardino County to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the county level.
During an address presented today at the 109th annual League meeting in Sacramento, Attorney General Brown said: “Under the Global Warming Solutions Act, AB 32, California is required to cut greenhouse gases dramatically, starting in 2012. Yet the challenge is so daunting—and growing daily—that we can’t wait five years to act. With intensifying hurricanes, heat waves and forest fires, the problem is upon us. Local governments should jump in now and lead the campaign against oil dependency and worsening climate change.”
Brown warned the officials that increasing oil dependency and global warming threaten the well-being of communities throughout the state. Potential problems, he said, include the following:
• Higher temperatures that reduce the amount of water stored in the Sierra snow pack and threaten the reliability of half the surface water in the state.
• Rising sea levels that increase coastal erosion and introduce seawater into the delta and levee systems.
• Increasing levels of smog.
• Increasing electricity demands that overburden the state’s power grid.
• Extreme heat events that increase the risk of dehydration, heatstroke and heart attack.
Under California law, the state is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and then reducing 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. To achieve the state’s 2020 target, California must reduce current emissions by at least 25%.
Local governments and agencies are responsible, under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), to address the potential impacts of global warming. To date, the Attorney General has submitted formal comments to thirteen local jurisdictions, under CEQA, encouraging them to evaluate and lessen the increases in CO2 emissions caused by land use decisions. A recent agreement with San Bernardino established a unique greenhouse gas reduction plan that identifies sources of emissions and sets reduction targets for the County.
Local government is already taking a leadership role in California to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Institute for Local Government has partnered with the League of California Cities and the California State Association of Counties to launch a California Climate Action Network to fight global warming. The network proposes a variety of actions that can be taken by local jurisdictions to cut greenhouse gas emissions including: conserving energy, reducing travel distances, and using lower carbon fuels.
The Climate Action Network’s brief overview is attached. For more information visit: http://www.ca-ilg.org/climatechange/
To watch footage from Brown's speech please visit: