FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Sacramento, Calif., Sept. 10, 2021) — A bill that would have committed California to reach and move past carbon neutrality by 2045 failed to win enough votes to clear the state senate late this afternoon. Assembly Bill (AB) 1395 would have set the state on a path to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045 and to move to at least 90 percent below 1990 levels afterward.
The California Climate Crisis Act would have required relevant state agencies – most notably, the Air Resources Board – to investigate and recommend measures to achieve the bill’s goals, including nature-based solutions. The board would also have been required to identify interim carbon-reduction goals to be implemented by 2025.
“With today’s vote, California’s leaders are choosing to treat the symptoms while ignoring the cause of the disease itself,” said Juan Altamirano, deputy policy director for Audubon California. “Yesterday, our legislature voted to include $10 billion in badly-needed funds to fight the extreme fires, drought and other events that have made this California’s summer of climate change. Climate change’s toll on Californians and the costs to address its impacts will only climb each year unless we address the cause.”
As California suffers through its worst drought in decades, wetlands of hemispheric importance to migratory birds are nearly dry, with the state’s largest reservoirs at a fraction of their full capacity. Audubon’s 2019 climate report, Survival by Degrees, found that two-thirds of North American birds face extinction under the most extreme climate-change projections. Limiting that rise to 1.5º Celsius would limit the worst of those impacts and give many species a chance at survival. But to do so, California and other jurisdictions must take immediate steps to reduce emissions.
“This bill’s codification of carbon neutrality would have sent a clear message that fossil fuel’s days are numbered. We’re disappointed that some senators lacked the resolve to take these necessary steps and instead bowed to the oil and gas lobby that is dead set on continuing to fight efforts to address climate change,” said Altamirano. “If Governor Newsom and the Legislature are truly committed to protecting Californians and leading on the fight against climate change, they must commit to strong action next year to ensure the state meets its climate goals.”
Jason Howe, firstname.lastname@example.org; 415-595-9245
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The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Learn more at www.audubon.org and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @audubonsociety.