Paris Delegation News

Los Angeles Time: In new California climate initiative, bill will target key pollutants

December 9, 2015

California would target certain harmful emissions under new legislation being introduced by state Sen. Ricardo Lara in an effort to boost public health while battling global warming.

Known as short-lived climate pollutants, the emissions include diesel exhaust and methane from agriculture. Focusing on these pollutants has been a key topic of conversation at the United Nations summit on climate change because they’re considered a way to make quick progress toward reducing greenhouse gases while providing a clear health benefit.

Pro Tem De León Joins Hundreds of U.S. State and Local Lawmakers to Support 50 Percent Clean Energy Nationwide

December 9, 2015

Citing Congress’ refusal to take action on climate change, California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León has joined more than 300 state and local lawmakers from across the nation who have signed a letter to President Obama supporting the goal of drawing 50 percent of the nation’s energy from renewable sources by 2030.

The 50 percent goal echoes California’s recently enacted law that mandates half the state’s electricity comes from renewable sources.

Mother Jones: Can California Help the Paris Climate Talks Succeed?

December 8, 2015

California is no stranger to the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. It has the second-highest carbon footprint of any US state (after Texas). But as diplomats from nearly every country on Earth hash through the final details of an international climate change agreement in Paris this week, they're seeing a very different side of the Golden State. "California can be a template of what is successful," said California State Sen. Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles), in a press briefing Monday with Steyer and a dozen clean energy entrepreneurs. "We can export our policies."

Washington Post: Once again, California leads the way

December 8, 2015

At the Paris Climate Change Conference, the world’s nations are pledging their first real steps toward addressing catastrophic climate change. Yet in this country, Republicans in Congress are already vowing to block President Obama’s program, while their presidential candidates scorn scientists’ alarm. Even if Democrats hold the White House in 2016, inaction and obstruction will remain the order of the day in Washington.

Star Tribune: Pondering pensions at the climate talks in Paris

December 7, 2015

I first started thinking about pensions when I attended a news conference about the fast-growing success of the global divestment movement. The idea of divestment is to get large investment funds to take money out of fossil-fuel companies, undermining both the financial interests and social license of these industries. The divestment movement announced the number of institutions committed to divestment now numbers more than 500, including universities and cities around the world.

Politifact: Senator claims California grows jobs faster than "rest of the nation"

December 7, 2015

Top California Democrats like State Senate leader Kevin de León often claim that the state’s economy is humming right along — and not weighed down by their ambitious new clean energy requirements. So, it’s not a surprise that De León, author of the state’s most recent clean energy law, touted California’s strong job growth during a recent speech abroad about climate change. De León, D-Los Angeles, spoke about California’s role as a leader in the fight against climate change to members of Parliament in the United Kingdom. In the end, we rate the claim Mostly True.

PPIC: Californians are more likely than adults nationwide to see global climate change as a very serious problem

December 3, 2015

PPIC’s December 2015 Statewide Survey found that a majority of Californians (57%) view global climate change as a very serious problem; only 45% of adults nationwide expressed this view in a spring 2015 survey by the Pew Research Center. Indeed, Californians are relatively likely to say global climate change is a very serious problem compared to residents of the Group of Eight nations surveyed by Pew (56% France, 55% Germany, 55% Italy, 51% Canada, 45% Japan, 45% US, 41% United Kingdom, 33% Russia).

Cities Today: Oslo becomes first capital city to shun fossil fuel companies

December 3, 2015

Norway’s capital city Oslo announced plans to divest its US$9 billion pension fund from coal, oil and gas companies as did 19 French cities and others from around the world.

The divestment bandwagon sprung to life at COP21 as campaign group announced the divestment plans of the cities and an array of other institutions ranging from Europe’s largest pension fund Allianz to the London School of Economics.

Democracy Now : As U.S. Congress Lags, California Leads Push to Divest From Fossil Fuels Linked to Climate Change

December 2, 2015

The seventh largest economy in the world has “de-linked carbon from GDP,” says Kevin de León, president pro tem of the California Senate. De León led the effort in the California Senate to pass a resolution to divest two of the world’s largest pension funds from fossil fuels: CalPERS and CalSTRS, the California Public Employees Retirement System and California State Teachers’ Retirement System. Together the two funds represent nearly $500 billion in assets. California is in its fifth year of a massive drought, de León notes, and has faced devastating forest fires linked to climate change.

L.A. Times: California isn't a country, so why are so many in the state headed to climate talks in Paris?

December 2, 2015

California will have a massive footprint at the United Nations summit on climate change in Paris, a symbol of the state’s political commitment to fighting global warming and the business interest of companies that can benefit from clean-energy policies.

The decision by many of California’s most powerful leaders to decamp across the Atlantic Ocean shows how stemming greenhouse gas emissions is viewed as both an environmental imperative and a potential economic boost for the state.