California approves goal for 100% carbon-free electricity by 2045

State Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, right, shakes hands with Gov. Jerry Brown after Brown signed his environmental measure SB 100/ The Sacramento Bee

By Alexei Koseff | The Sacramento Bee

Ahead of a summit this week meant to galvanize regional action on climate change, Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed legislation that would put California on the path to eliminating fossil fuels from its energy sector.

Senate Bill 100 speeds up the state’s timeline for moving to renewable energy sources like solar and wind, and requires that all retail electricity be carbon-free by 2045. California is the second state to adopt such a goal, after Hawaii.

“It’s not going to be easy. It will not be immediate. But it must be done,” Brown said at a signing ceremony in Sacramento. “California is committed to doing whatever is necessary to meet the existential threat of climate change.”

The measure is a symbolic strike against the Trump administration, which has pulled back from United States efforts to confront climate change by withdrawing from an international accord to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, loosening fuel economy standards and weakening rules to reduce pollution from coal-fired power plants.

“Today California sends an unmistakable message to the nation and the world: Regardless of who occupies the White House, California will always lead on climate change,” state Sen. Kevin de León, a Los Angeles Democrat who carried SB 100, said.

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