California pledges to generate electricity 100 percent from renewables by 2045
Brown signed the Senate Bill 100 (SB 100) at a special ceremony held in Sacramento, capital of the state, and lived showed online, hailing that the move will speed up the state's timeline to galvanize regional action on climate change.
"It's not going to be easy. It will not be immediate. But it must be done," Brown said at the ceremony, "California is committed to doing whatever is necessary to meet the existential threat of climate change."
According to the report of the Sacramento Bee newspaper, so far the state's largest utilities had already surpassed a mandate to generate a third of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
At the ceremony, Brown also announced an executive order directing California to achieve carbon neutrality, meaning it would remove as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it emits, also by 2045.
Brown said in the statement that the state would reach this goal by continuing to reduce its emissions and by increasing carbon sequestration in forests, soils and other natural landscapes.
The SB100 was initially introduced last year by the State Senator Kevin de León, a Los Angeles Democrat, but stalled in the Legislature after met strong opposition from electric utilities, oil companies and labor unions.
With the backing of political heavyweights like former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, the bill finally won approval from lawmakers late last month.
California has been taking an independent and a tough stand against Washington's climate policy after the U.S. President Donald Trump was sworn into the White House last January.
Trump administration withdrew from the Paris Agreement in last June, which was reached in late 2015 and signed by more than 190 UN members so far around the world, however, Brown and former Mayor of New York city Michael Bloomberg launched a new initiative one week later, known as "America's Pledge," to continue the cause set by the Paris Agreement on climate change.
California will host the Climate Action Summit initiated by Brown in San Francisco next month.
"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," Kevin de León said at Monday' s ceremony. ■