CA Gov. Gavin Newsom announces framework to combat climate change

Gavin Newsom
Charlie Nguyen/Creative Commons
In response to California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s 2019 climate executive order, the Department of Finance has released the California Climate Investment Framework, which puts forth recommendations for mitigating the impacts of climate change and creating a more sustainable economy. (Photo by Charlie Nguyen under CC BY 2.0.)

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In response to the threats California faces from climate change, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a wide array of climate actions and events, including the California Climate Investment Framework.

During Climate Week 2020, Newsom issued an executive order to phase out gasoline-powered cars and hosted a virtual California Climate Action Day, according to press releases from Newsom’s press office. After these events, Newsom announced the release of the California Climate Investment Framework, which will integrate the climate risk strategies of three of the state’s largest pension funds.

“California has long prided itself on leading the nation in many respects in the world in terms of our low-carbon green growth goals, but they’re simply inadequate to the task at hand, to the reality that we’re experiencing,” Newsom said during California Climate Action Day.

As transportation accounts for more than 50% of California’s greenhouse gas emissions, zero-emission vehicles are key to a greener economy, according to a press release on Newsom’s executive order. In an attempt to reduce California’s demand for fossil fuels, Newsom’s executive order directs that all cars and passenger trucks sold within the state must be zero-emission vehicles by 2035.

Members of UC Berkeley’s CalPIRG chapter expressed support for this order. Nikita Chigullapally, coordinator of CalPIRG’s End Oil Drilling campaign, described it as a “necessary action.”

“His statement of transitioning to electric cars was definitely something we could all see coming,” said Christopher Luna, assistant coordinator of the End Oil Drilling campaign. “On the day he put out the announcement, we actually held a climate action petitioning event saying that we strongly urge him to keep fighting for this change to renewable resources and energy.”

In response to Newsom’s 2019 climate executive order, the Department of Finance has released the California Climate Investment Framework, which puts forth recommendations for mitigating the impacts of climate change and creating a more sustainable economy.

In particular, the framework calls for the creation of a working group to determine climate risk standards, increase use of low-carbon strategies by the state’s pension funds and make the state a signatory to the Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment launched by the U.N. Climate Action Summit.

The UC system expressed support for the framework in a press release from the UC Office of the President. To divest from fossil fuels, the UC system has made its $70 billion pension, its $14 billion endowment and the $17 billion in its working capital pools fossil-free.

“We’ve already turned the page,” Newsom said during California Climate Action Day. “Now, we have the opportunity to accelerate a cleaner, bright, more sustainable future in a way that creates innovation and advances our entrepreneurial spirit.”

Contact Zoe Chen at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @zoe_chen820.