Energy & Environment

California commits to 100 percent renewable energy by 2045

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed into law Monday a bill that commits the state to achieving a 100 percent renewable energy power grid by 2045.

The clean energy bill sponsored by state Sen. Kevin de León (D), who is challenging Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) for her seat this fall, makes California the world's largest economy to commit to relying completely on renewable energy generated from solar, wind and water.

The bill additionally increases the state's clean energy goals from 50 percent by 2030 to 60 percent.

At the signing ceremony, Brown called the bill part of the state's commitment to achieve the benchmarks laid out in the Paris climate accord.

President Trump announced he was pulling the U.S. out of the agreement last year, making the U.S. the only nation on Earth not part of it.

"This bill and the executive order I am going to sign will put California on the path to meet the Paris agreement and beyond. It's not going to be easy, and it won't be immediate, but it must be done," Brown said.

De León called the legislation a "labor of love" and called climate change a real, dangerous and expensive threat. The bill aims to address both the scientific and economic setbacks of a warming globe, he said.

"Today California sends an unmistakable message to the nation and the world, regardless of who occupies the White House, California will always lead on climate change," he said at the presser. 

"Californians have made their voices heard loudly about the future they want for their state and the world. ... As Californians we are going to shape and drive that future."

The law comes as California is set to host the first Global Climate Summit in San Francisco this week, where big names in climate change and environmental science are anticipated to speak. Speakers include former Vice President Al Gore and former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy.

The state legislature has passed a number of bills this summer with an environment focus, including legislation to limit the use of plastic straws at full service restaurants, and on Monday Brown signed a bill as a premeditative measure to block offshore oil drilling on California's coastline.

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