NBLC Joins Climate Safe California and Supports SB 833 (Dodd): The Community Energy Resilience Act

In LiveScience’s Alarming heat waves hit Arctic and Antarctica at the same time (Link), by Harry Baker, we learn temperatures peaked at least 50 degrees higher than average in both polar regions.  Baker says, “Both of Earth’s polar regions recently experienced unprecedented simultaneous heat waves that caused temperatures to briefly skyrocket to never-before-seen heights in some areas. While experts say such extreme temperatures cannot be solely attributed to climate change, the unusual phenomenon is nonetheless ‘dramatic’ and ‘alarming.’”

Baker says, “Individual extreme weather phenomena are difficult to attribute directly to climate change. However, experts predict that such events will become more frequent and extreme in the future if current greenhouse gas emissions are not drastically reduced. ‘The warming of the Arctic and Antarctic is cause for concern, and the increase in extreme weather events — of which these are an example — is a cause for concern as well,’ Michael Mann, a climatologist at The Pennsylvania State University, told The Guardian. ‘The models have done a good job projecting the overall warming, but we’ve argued that extreme events are exceeding model projections. These events drive home the urgency of action.’”

The acceleration of climate change indeed increases the urgency of action required.  NBLC has taken two steps to help be part of the solution in addressing global warming.  We are pleased to announce that NBLC has joined Climate-Safe California, a unique and comprehensive campaign to remove more climate pollution from the atmosphere.  Led by The Climate Center, NBLC joins hundreds of businesses, elected officials, and nonprofits and more than 1,000 individuals in this campaign. Climate-Safe California offers climate solutions at the speed and scale that science demands. It’s a set of policies that would allow California to remove more climate pollution from the atmosphere than we emit by 2030 while creating thousands of jobs and building a more equitable clean energy economy. Working together, we will ensure California leads once again toward a climate-safe future for all.

We believe in thriving, healthy communities. We envision a future where everyone in California enjoys equal access to climate solutions, from clean air to renewable energy, healthy food, and more.

California has the tools and know-how to make this vision a reality — if our elected leaders act with the urgency the climate crisis demands. California must put policies in place by 2025 to accelerate equitable climate action.

Existing state policies call for achieving 80% below 1990 levels of GHGs by 2050 (Governor Schwarzenegger Executive Order S-3-05 2005) and maintaining net-negative emissions after achieving carbon neutrality by no later than 2045 (Governor Jerry Brown Executive Orders B-55-18 2018). The Climate-Safe California campaign calls for an executive order and/or legislation signed into law by no later than 2022 mandating that California accelerate these existing state policy timelines to 2030. Per the increasingly dire warnings of the world’s climate scientists and policy experts, 2050 and 2045 are simply too late. The time is now to put the policies in place that will secure a safe, vibrant future for all.

Link to graph

And here is a link to more information about this exciting campaign if you would like to join, too: https://theclimatecenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Platform-Climate-Safe-CA-May-2021.pdf

NBLC also endorsed SB 833 (Dodd) – the Community Energy Resilience Act. Climate-fueled wildfires and heat waves are disrupting lives and businesses across California as the state struggles to keep the power on. The Community Energy Resilience Act (SB 833) — sponsored by The Climate Center and introduced by Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa) — would create a new state program to assist communities in developing energy resilience plans based on clean energy instead of diesel back-up generators.

Recent power outages have cost California billions of dollars. Emissions from backup generators are polluting our air and fueling the climate crisis. Over the past three years, purchases of toxic diesel generators jumped by 34 percent in the Bay Area. In 2021 alone, similar purchases increased by 22 percent in the Los Angeles area. It’s time to prioritize clean energy, especially in lower-income and frontline communities, to keep the lights on without compromising on health and air quality.
The Community Energy Resilience Act enables local governments to collaborate with utilities in planning community-level energy infrastructure, such as solar panels and battery storage, so that communities decide what facilities stay powered during a crisis.

More than 1 million California homes and businesses already benefit from small-scale solar power, including 2,500 schools. These sites only need to add storage to enhance community resilience. The Community Energy Resilience Act also complements Governor Newsom’s Zero Emissions Vehicle Executive Order, which sets the course for California to end sales of internal combustion passenger vehicles by 2035. With proper planning, an expansion of electric vehicles could enhance grid resilience with energy storage in car and truck batteries.

This bill has unanimously cleared the Senate Energy Committee. Now it goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee.  We look forward to seeing the Legislature pass it and the Governor sign it.