Sep 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Newsom signs $15 billion package to fight climate change

Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks to the press while visiting Melrose Leadership Academy in Oakland, Calif.
Gov. Gavin Newsom Photo: Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a $15 billion climate package on Thursday as California wildfires threaten more sequoias at Sequoia National Park.

Why it matters: The package is the largest such investment in California history as drought conditions have worsened across the state and led to numerous wildfires. More than 1.9 million acres have burned across the state this year, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, including over 220,000 in the Caldor fire last month.

The big picture: The climate package directs money to build wildfire and forest resilience and support immediate drought response and long-term water resilience.

  • The package also directly protects communities across the state from multi-faceted climate risks, including extreme heat and sea level rise.
  • The $15 billion package is the final piece of the state's $262.5 billion operating budget, per KPIX-TV. The spending also includes $1.2 billion for water recycling projects, grants to help communities plan for climate change and more.
  • “California is doubling down on our nation-leading policies to confront the climate crisis head-on while protecting the hardest-hit communities,” Newsom said.
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