Los Angeles – With federal climate and clean energy programs facing an uncertain future, California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León has introduced legislation to commit the Golden State to meet 100 percent of its electricity needs with renewable energy by 2045.
“California has a proud history of clean energy leadership. Now, more than ever, it’s critical for us to lead the way to 100 percent renewable energy,” said Michelle Kinman, clean energy advocate for Environment California. “California has the power to send a strong signal to leaders everywhere that it’s no longer a question of whether we’ll get to 100 percent renewable power, but how fast?”.
The California legislation is the latest action in a growing movement to transform the way we produce and consume energy to create healthier communities right now and a livable future for kids growing up today. In 2015, Hawaii committed to 100 percent renewables by 2045. That same year, De León authored and Governor Jerry Brown signed a law that commits California to achieve 50 percent renewable energy by 2030.
Just last week, Massachusetts introduced legislation, backed by more than a quarter of the state legislature, committing the state to meet 100 percent of its electricity needs from renewable energy by 2035 and all of its energy needs, including heating and transportation, from renewable sources by 2050.
California cities are also leading the way. San Diego has committed to achieving 100 percent renewable energy by 2035. Los Angeles is studying the best means for achieving 100 percent clean energy. Earlier in the month San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said in his State of the City Address that he will work to make San Jose “the first major U.S. city to draw 100% of our electricity from renewable sources within the next decade.”
A combination of environmental concerns and declining costs for renewable energy have made it the “go-to” option for many communities and businesses, in part because it is pollution-free, but also because it requires no fuel costs. As a result, dozens of major corporations—ranging from Google to General Motors to Walmart—have already committed to a complete shift to renewable energy.
Given the considerable resistance renewables are likely to face in Congress and the Trump Administration, clean energy proponents are looking to state and local governments, businesses and institutions to ensure continued progress. Earlier this month, Environment America and the Student Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) launched a campaign to secure commitments from American colleges and universities to shift to 100 percent renewables.
“The idea of shifting to 100 percent renewable energy inspires young people who have the greatest stake in stopping investments in fossil fuels and tackling the climate crisis,” said Nicole Walter, CalPIRG Student Board Chair. “Engaging students on college campuses across the country helps train activists and leaders we’ll need to make the clean energy transition.”
“Now is the time for California to go big on clean energy,” said Kinman. “Getting to 100 percent renewable energy is 100 percent possible — and it’s 100 percent necessary.”