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Senator challenges state to hit carbon neutral goal by 2035

State Sen. Josh Becker, D-San Mateo, announced his new legislative initiatives for a cleaner California during the United Nations Climate Conference on Thursday, one of which calls on state government operations directly to go carbon neutral.

California already has a goal to meet carbon neutrality for its entire economy by no later than 2045, based on former Gov. Jerry Brown’s executive order in 2018. This means all citizens and companies in the state would adjust to eco-friendly vehicles, energy options and conservation methods in production.

Becker’s new legislation, which will be introduced in January when the state Legislature reconvenes, would push for government operations to get to zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035, 10 years earlier than the statewide goal.

In a news release, Becker asked:

“If we are going to ask the entire state to achieve net zero, shouldn’t the government lead by example and show how to get to zero before asking everyone else to do it?” 

Becker’s hope is that this bill could encourage California to kickstart progress by trying out zero emission operations.

California Air Resources Board California 2019 greenhouse gas emissions by sector. (Graphic courtesy of California Air Resources Board)

Becker said:

“The state could — and should — lead on these issues by developing clear plans for how the state government will get to net zero emissions within its own operations by being an early adopter of the necessary technologies that will ultimately be needed by the rest of the state.” 

Becker also wants to make reforms to “Build Clean Faster” to build up essential, environmentally-friendly projects and infrastructure at a quick pace.

Becker said:

“We cannot let business as usual, with all that red tape, prevent us from doing what must be done. It’s time that we stop paying lawyers to fight about these projects and start paying workers to get them built.”

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