Yesterday, Governor Jerry Brown ensured that California would remain at the forefront of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in response to the growing threat of climate change. In an executive order, Brown stated that the state must cut greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. This interim target will help meet the goal of cutting emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, as established by Brown’s predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
In a press conference, Brown expressed his determination for California to be leaders in regards to climate change:
“In North America, California is now setting the pace, and we’re very serious about it,” Brown told a crowd of hundreds at a climate change conference in Los Angeles. “We’re going to take whatever steps are needed to get the job done, because our future depends on it.”
In CPEHN’s report, The Landscape of Opportunity: Cultivating Health Equity in California, we discussed air quality and climate change as a health justice issue:
“Studies have shown that communities of color and low-income communities are more likely to live in areas with high exposure to pollutants, which can lead to higher levels of asthma and other respiratory conditions as well as cardiovascular events, low birth weight, and premature deaths.”
In the same report we discussed improving air quality as a vital strategy to address some of the key environmental determinants of health. We stressed that California should remain a leader in developing standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
We are pleased to see that with Governor Brown’s executive order yesterday, California will remain at the forefront of addressing harmful emissions for decades to come.