California has a strong history of adopting clean energy practices. The state has previously invested in green power options such as hydro, wind and solar energy. Now its current governor, Democrat Jerry Brown is keen to ensure that his state keeps with the commitments outlined in the international Paris agreement, even if the White House has chosen to withdraw America’s support.
As part of this commitment, the Governor has introduced two key pieces of legislation. The first extends the state’s cap-and-trade program, which puts upper limits on the amount of carbon dioxide that companies produce and sets up trade networks that allow organisations to buy and sell allowances for temporarily higher caps.
The system was first authored by former Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger ten years ago. This set up provides an economic incentive for companies to cut carbon emissions, and California has shown that the system works without impeding the economy.
The second piece of legislation has committed the state to generating 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2045. The state is currently on track for getting around 50 per cent from clean energy sources by 2026.
If passed, the legislation will make California the second state (after Hawaii) to dedicate itself to reaching 100 per cent renewable electricity generation.