Sep 16, 2022 - Politics & Policy

California Gov. Newsom signs "sweeping" new climate measures

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaking in Los Angeles in August 2022.
Photo: Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed "some of the nation’s most aggressive climate measures in history" to combat human-caused climate change into law on Friday.

Why it matters: The legislative package "complements" the $54 billion in climate funding included in the state's budget earlier this year, Newsom's office said. The new laws come as the state nears the end of a harsh summer that brought record-breaking heat that tested its power grid and contributed to major wildfires.

What they're saying: “This month has been a wake-up call for all of us that later is too late to act on climate change. California isn’t waiting any more,” Newsom said in a statement Friday.

  • "Together with the Legislature, California is taking the most aggressive action on climate our nation has ever seen. We’re cleaning the air we breathe, holding the big polluters accountable, and ushering in a new era for clean energy," he added.
  • "That’s climate action done the California Way – and we’re not only doubling down, we’re just getting started.”

The big picture: The laws also require the state to stop contributing carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by 2045, which will require it to slash emissions by 85%.

  • They also put additional requirements on new oil wells, such how close they can be to homes, schools, hospitals, and other buildings.
  • California finalized a plan last month to ban the sale of gas-powered vehicles starting in 2035 as part of a major push toward electric vehicle adoption.
  • More than 6,300 wildfires have scorched around 351,000 acres and destroyed more than 760 buildings or structures in the state so far this fire season, according to statistics from Cal Fire.

Go deeper: Heat wave in West breaks records, threatens California grid

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