Assemblymembers Al Muratsuchi and Cristina Garcia with Gov. Gavin Newsom at the signing ceremony for the California Climate Crisis Act in Vallejo on Sept. 16.

VALLEJO — Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi’s (D-Torrance) AB 1279, the California Climate Crisis Act, in a signing ceremony in Vallejo on Sept. 16.

AB 1279 requires the state to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) as soon as possible, but no later than 2045, and achieve and maintain net negative greenhouse gas emissions thereafter. 

The bill also requires California to reduce statewide GHG emissions by 85 percent compared to 1990 levels, and directs the California Air Resources Board to work with relevant state agencies to achieve these goals.

AB 1279 is part of Newsom’s climate legislative package that he called upon the Legislature to pass in order to strengthen California’s national and global leadership in the fight against climate change. 

“The climate crisis is here and now,” stated Muratsuchi. “Wildfires, droughts, extreme heat, and flash floods are becoming worse every year, causing deaths and billions in property damage. This is Code Red for humanity, and we are running out of time to save our planet as we know it. I thank Gov. Newsom, Assembly Speaker (Anthony) Rendon, and Senate President Pro Tem (Toni) Atkins, along with my colleagues in both houses, for working together to go big and bold for our planet. 

“AB 1279, the California Climate Crisis Act, is part of the climate package that establishes our commitment that California, as the world’s fifth-largest economy, will focus on the goal of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by or before 2045, by leading the charge to invest in clean renewable energy and phase out our dependence on fossil fuels. This climate package shows how California can lead in the national and global fight against climate change when we all work together.”

Global warming is a result of the increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The impact of global warming is catastrophic and far-reaching, including wildfires, extreme heat, extended periods of drought, sea level rise, erosion, increasing ocean acidity, tree diseases causing widespread tree mortality, and many others. These events caused by the warming climate poses major threats to human health and security, wildlife and biodiversity, water supply, and economic growth.

A special report on the impacts of global warming from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius would reduce the probability, intensity, and frequency of such climate-related events.

The IPCC report also notes that in order to limit warming to 1.5°C, the world must reach net zero carbon dioxide emissions by around 2050 with concurrent deep reductions in other greenhouse gas emissions such as methane. In order to reach net zero emissions, the world’s nations would need to aggressively reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and urgently deploy negative emissions technologies to remove the GHGs already in the atmosphere.

Muratsuchi represents the 66th Assembly District, which includes El Camino Village, Gardena, Harbor City, Harbor Gateway, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Torrance, and West Carson. 

Muratsuchi is chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Climate Change Policies and the Assembly Select Committee on Aerospace, and a member of the Assembly Committees on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials, Natural Resources, Utilities and Energy, and Veterans Affairs.

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