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PHI Statement on the Passage of SB 32

September 08, 2016

STATEMENT FROM MARY A. PITTMAN, PRESIDENT AND CEO, PUBLIC HEALTH INSTITUTE

The Public Health Institute and its Center for Climate Change and Health applaud the landmark passage of SB 32, the most progressive climate bill in the country, signed into law today by Governor Brown. SB 32 will reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below the 1990 level by 2030, and fulfill our commitment to the world's nations to limit temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius. 

What is perhaps most remarkable about the passage of the bill is the courage, leadership and collaboration shown by California’s legislators. Their willingness to cross aisles and make compromises in order to avert climate disaster serves as an exemplar for the rest of the world. If California’s political leaders can work together on climate change, so can any other government body. California's efforts were led by Senator Pavley, who is retiring this year due to term limits. PHI thanks her for her leadership, along with Governor Brown and Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia.

California, a bell-weather state for the rest of the nation, is also a global leader on climate change. But there is more to do. From wildfires to air pollution to drought, the impacts of climate change in California are growing increasingly evident and severe. Climate change is already hurting our health, with low income communities, communities of color and other vulnerable populations disproportionately at risk.

Given current greenhouse gas emissions, the chances of a 35+ year "megadrought" in the Southwest by 2100 are above 80 percent. While SB 32 and SB 1383 (which is awaiting Governor Brown's signature) are critical steps in the right direction, these bills alone cannot change the course of our planet's future. In order to avoid a disastrous tipping point, we must do more: in our local communities, throughout the state, across the country and around the world.


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