Climate-Safe California is a Joint Venture initiative that is powered by The Climate Center. The project provides a comprehensive platform to bring California’s climate targets and policies into alignment with current science.
The Climate Center is a nonprofit working across the state of California to reduce greenhouse gases at scale. The organization has played a pivotal role in California’s transition to community choice agencies, which increased from two agencies in 2014 to 21 agencies today. These agencies serve over 11 million California commercial and residential customers—one quarter of the state—with electricity that is 88 percent clean.
What are we doing?
As an initiative of Joint Venture, Climate Safe California will provide guidance to city-and regional scale clean energy and resiliency projects, and mobilize increased support for climate action across the major sectors.
Climate-Safe California is a platform put forth by The Climate Center that is a powerful solution to the climate crisis. It is a comprehensive initiative to bring California’s climate targets and policies in alignment with current science. The vision is to double current emissions reductions goals to achieve net negative emissions by 2030. Climate experts have called this a unique, bold, urgently needed and comprehensive campaign that will catalyze similar efforts in other states, the nation, and the world.
Why are we doing it?
The latest climate science supports what millions of people around the world are experiencing daily: the impacts of climate change are hitting harder and faster than expected, posing grave threats to human health and well-being. Children, the elderly, and people living in low-income communities are disproportionately affected.
With 9 of 15 global tipping points now active, what we do today can either unleash an inhospitable hothouse Earth or secure a safe climate well into the future. As the science and climate reality demand, our only hope for a vibrant, healthy, and equitable future for all is to enact bold climate policies now, not decades from now.
Governor Gavin Newsom announced in September 2020 that he will aggressively move the state further away from its reliance on climate change-causing fossil fuels while retaining and creating jobs and spurring economic growth – he issued an executive order requiring sales of all new passenger vehicles to be zero-emission by 2035 and additional measures to eliminate harmful emissions from the transportation sector.
We are doing this work in the following ways:
Secure a just transition
As we transition to a clean energy economy globally and in California, we must ensure that workers and communities dependent on fossil fuel industries are not left behind. Nations all over the world are starting to address this key issue to our collective economic and social well-being.
Support climate justice for lower-income communities
Policymakers must prioritize and support lower-income communities in achieving these rapid decarbonization goals. We must ensure lower-income communities– primarily communities of color due to historic redlining and systemic racism– are no longer disproportionately harmed by the health and economic consequences of fossil fuel development, production, and use. We must also ensure that everyone is able to participate in the clean energy economy.
The path to net negative emissions by 2030
Commit to accelerating existing state policies to achieve 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and net-negative emissions by 2030. Other key policy pillars:
- Accelerate the phase-out of development, production, and use of fossil fuels in transportation, building and other sectors to cut emissions to 80% below 1990 levels (~86 MMT annually by 2030)
- Implement climate-friendly habitat and soil management and restoration practices on California’s agricultural and natural lands to sequester 100 million metric tons of CO2e annually by 2030
- Allocate the needed funding and support to California’s counties and cities to develop and implement climate emergency response and preparedness measures for resilience
- Employ new climate action financing mechanisms such as climate bonds by 2025 to generate the $12-$20 billion of investments needed annually over the next decade
To help strengthen and support the Climate-Safe California platform, The Climate Center has been building a broad coalition of statewide partners. This list includes businesses, labor unions, elected leaders, scientists, nonprofit organizations, environmental justice groups, and other influencers in California. Please click here for a list of current endorsers of Climate-Safe California. We invite organizations and individuals to endorse. Endorse now.
What are the latest developments?
Here are a few things that we have accomplished recently moving toward a Climate-Safe California
- Met with advisors to the Governor and submitted a comprehensive draft Executive Order for the governor’s consideration, encouraging bold action on climate change commensurate the latest science and rapidly worsening climate reality
- Secured almost 600 endorsements to date for Climate-Safe California Successfully advocated for $50 million for community resilience in the COVID-revised state budget in Fiscal Year 2020-21
- Organized and hosted the Community Energy Resilience Summit in early August with 330 attendees focused on “Securing Equitable Access to Community Energy Resilience.”
- Played key role in Stockton becoming the first major metropolitan area in the Central Valley to undertake a feasibility study for a Community Choice Energy program, a significant milestone forward
- Responding to the advocacy and input from us and other groups, the California Public Utilities Commission issued a Decision in the microgrid proceeding (19-09-009) which recognized the pivotal role of local governments in energy resilience planning, a core principle of The Climate Centers’ Community Energy Resilience program (more info here).
What are the next steps?
- Endorse Climate-Safe California.
- View recent presentation here.
- Mobilize support for climate action in Silicon Valley across the major sectors.
- Communicate Silicon Valley support for climate action to state leaders.
- Provide guidance to city- and regional-scale clean energy and resiliency projects.
- Raise funding.
- Consult on and contribute to research emanating from the Institute for Regional Studies.
Where do I find out more?
To learn more about Climate-Safe California, please contact: