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Climate action protesters at the Massive Forward on Climate rally on February 17, 2013 in San Francisco, California. Photo credit: Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz via Shutterstock.

California climate opportunities can overcome science deniers

by Gary Graham Hughes, senior California advocacy campaigner

Two bills passed that the Trump election cannot affect.

This statement is of vital importance for setting a tone for the upcoming 2017 legislative session, but powerful climate legislation passed in California in the summer of 2016 under the leadership of de León and Rendon makes the difference for California to push past Trump’s denialism. Environmental justice organizations in communities around the state were mobilized in the capitol of Sacramento this past summer in an historic way that resulted in significant legislative successes.

These recently passed laws are the legal foundation of future climate action in California.

In fact, the parallel bill that passed last summer, AB 197, demands that priority is made of direct emissions reductions in the communities bearing the brunt of the state’s pollution burden, paving the way for the establishment of an alternative to the scientifically flawed and economically unfair carbon market.

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An activist participates in the #YesCapNoTrade demonstration outside of the September, 2016 CARB hearing in California.

This fight for real emissions reductions at their source is the crux of an equitable and scientifically defensible response to the dangers of Trump climate change denialism.

Environmental justice organizations in California have been firm in their opposition to the reliance on offsets in the California carbon market from the very beginning. The ongoing principled challenge to the unjust Cap-and-Trade Program was made evident when climate justice advocates demanded an end to pollution trading with a #YesCapNoTrade protest outside of a September California Air Resources Board hearing on the future of the program. This fight for real emissions reductions at their source is the crux of an equitable and scientifically defensible response to the dangers of Trump climate change denialism.

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Crane lifting cut wooden logs.

California’s ability to develop world leading policy is still possible post-election with the opportunities and political objectives that came out of the last legislative session.

Soberingly, though hidden from the public eye, ongoing research reveals that carbon losses from ecosystems in California are as much as 5–7 percent of state carbon emissions from all sectors, which is the equivalent of about half the emissions from electricity generation in the state. Respect for science requires that this challenge of the reduction of the significant greenhouse gas emissions in California’s forests, including from industrial activities such as clear-cut logging, will be front and center in upcoming discussions regarding climate policy in California.

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Activists at the Massive Forward on Climate rally on February 17, 2013 in San Francisco, California. Photo credit: Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz via Shutterstock.

Take action: Tell your Senators to block climate denier Scott Pruitt from leading the EPA!

Stand up to Trump

Friends of the Earth is growing the movement to stand up to…

Friends of the Earth

Written by

Friends of the Earth U.S. defends the environment and champions a healthy and just world. www.foe.org

Stand up to Trump

Friends of the Earth is growing the movement to stand up to Trump’s attacks on people and the planet.

Friends of the Earth

Written by

Friends of the Earth U.S. defends the environment and champions a healthy and just world. www.foe.org

Stand up to Trump

Friends of the Earth is growing the movement to stand up to Trump’s attacks on people and the planet.

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