San Francisco, Calif. – Audubon California today celebrated the State Legislature’s passage of Senate Bill 32 as a victory for people and birds. The bill, which overcame stiff opposition from petroleum industry, protects and extends California’s groundbreaking climate change law, setting the goal of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. The legislation now moves to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.
“Senate Bill 32 is our strongest tool to protect people and birds from air pollution and climate change,” said Audubon California Executive Director Brigid McCormack. “This legislation is about creating healthier communities – both in our cities and in nature – now and in the future.”
According to the American Lung Society, thirty-two million Californians (84% of the population) live in counties that have unhealthy air during the year. Of the ten worst metropolitan areas for air pollution in the United States, seven are in California.
“It’s hard for children and families to connect with nature when it’s unhealthy to go outside,” added McCormack.
Carbon pollution is not only a leading cause of global warming, but a direct threat to the health of citizens and the environment. According to recent Audubon research, 170 California birds are at risk of extinction due to global warming. More immediate is the threat that carbon pollution presents to birds and habitat, needless to say public health. Not surprisingly, research has also linked carbon pollution to declining bird health and habitat loss. It even suggests that carbon pollution is reducing the value of agricultural crops.