California Governor Jerry Brown signed a law on Monday announcing that California will completely rely on clean energy sources by 2045.
The bill, which demands the world’s fifth-largest economy phase out fossil fuels, requires 50 percent of the state’s energy to be derived from renewable sources, like solar, wind and hydropower, by 2026. The legislation also mandates that the state use 60 percent renewable energy by 2030, a press release said.
“Today, with Governor Brown’s support, California sent a message to the rest of the world that we are taking the future into our own hands; refusing to be the victims of its uncertainty,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Emeritus Kevin de León, who authored the bill. “Transitioning to an entirely carbon-free energy grid will create good-paying jobs, ensure our children breathe cleaner air and mitigate the devastating impacts of climate change on our communities and economy.”
California, which is just the second state to approve legislation declaring a permanent shift to renewable energy, will host a global conference on climate change later this week. The bill, which will take effect in January, reiterates California’s commitment to clean energy.
“SB100 is sending a message to California and the world that we’re gonna meet the Paris agreement, and we’re going to continue down that path to zero emissions,” Brown said. “It’s not going to be easy, and it won’t be immediate, but it must be done. California is committed to doing whatever is necessary to meet the existential threat of climate change, and yes, it is an existential threat.”
Environmental activists lauded the legislation.
“I feel so proud to be a Californian right now,” director of Sierra Club California Kathryn Phillips said. “And I feel so proud of people all over America who have kept fighting to clean up climate pollution, despite the federal government’s abandonment. This win, this bill, is for them, too.”
Brown also said on Monday that he would sign an executive order mandating the state be carbon neutral by 2045.
The latest legislation is part of a broader attempt launched by Brown and California to promote greater reliance on clean energy. Particularly in the last two years, Brown has vigorously promoted legislation to slow climate change.
Legislation passed in September 2016 required the state cut greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.