Global warming and disruptive climate change pose great risks for California. Climate change will result in more frequent and more intense forest fires, more air pollution and deadly heat waves, a significant reduction in the snowpack and state water supplies, sea level rise and erosion along California's long coastline, and billions of dollars in damage to our agricultural, tourism, recreation, and other industries. See "Climate Change Impacts in California" page. Climate change presents serious environmental justice concerns because its impacts will fall disproportionately on our most vulnerable residents – children, the elderly, and communities already suffering from pollution. See "Climate Change's Unequal Impacts" page.
The Attorney General is a leader in the State's efforts to fight global warming and promote a clean, lower-carbon economy. The Attorney General’s Office, representing state agencies and acting independently in the name of the People:
- Successfully defended – and will continue to defend – the State's landmark clean cars laws. [See Clean Cars]
- Filed numerous actions that caused the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to finally begin regulating greenhouse gas pollution, and continues to ensure that the federal government does its job. [See Clean Air Act]
- Through comments and litigation, ensures that local governments take account of climate change and plan for a more sustainable future for all members of the community. [See California Environmental Quality Act]
- Promotes renewable energy and enhanced energy efficiency in California, supporting hundreds of thousands of new jobs and improved air quality. [See Green Energy]
- Defends the Air Resources Board in challenges to its landmark carbon and greenhouse gas reduction regulations. The Board has defended against challenges to actions taken under AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which requires California to reduce its total greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The Board has also defended against challenges to the Low Carbon Fuel Standard by industry groups representing petroleum, refining, trucking, and ethanol interests. The Low Carbon Fuel Standard is a landmark regulatory effort to reduce the carbon content of all transportation fuel used in California, requiring at least a ten percent reduction in carbon intensity of fuel by the year 2020.