STATEMENT: Governor Newsom signs major climate legislation

Media Contacts

Amid heat waves, wildfires, new California laws accelerate climate action to mitigate future global warming

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A week after the end of a heat wave that’s being called one of the worst ever in California, on Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law bills that should help mitigate climate change and protect public health. 

California lawmakers passed this legislation in the waning weeks of the 2021-22 session to help the state move towards a healthier future powered by clean energy rather than fossil fuels, as wildfires and drought continue to ravage the state. State legislators went big on climate action after the federal government passed the Inflation Reduction Act. 

The new laws include setting a goal for 90% of the state’s electricity to come from clean sources by 2035; prohibiting new oil drilling within 3,200 feet of the places where Californians live, work, eat, shop, worship and go to school, setting goals for removing global-warming carbon from our air and putting the state on track for carbon neutrality by 2045. 

Earlier this summer, state leadership included major investments in clean cars, trucks, buses and clean energy in the state’s $50+ billion climate budget. Friday, leaders and advocates celebrated these accomplishments.

In response, Environment California State Director Laura Deehan released the following statement: 

“Today is a transformative day for California and the whole United States. We can turn the tide on climate change and ensure a better world for our kids and grandkids — and with these new laws, California’s governor, state legislators and other leaders are offering a way forward. 

“California is lighting the way to a bright future powered by renewable energy, including solar, wind and battery storage. The solutions are all around us. The sun sends more power to the earth in a single hour than the entire globe needs in a year. The winds blow so hard and so fast off our coast that offshore wind alone could more than meet our state’s energy needs. And thanks in no small part to California innovators, the technology to save energy, and catch the sun and the wind to power our lives, is already here!

“Governor Newsom’s bold call to action spurred legislators to create these laws, and we’re grateful to all those who supported them. We applaud them for accelerating our path to 100% clean electricity, protecting communities from pollution from oil drilling, and investing significantly in clean cars, trucks and buses. 

“While these new laws are like breaths of cool air, the work isn’t done. The next heat wave will come. But California will be better prepared to beat the heat because of the action taken today.”