Newsom Administration Announces Series of Climate Change-Related Initiatives

This week, the Newsom Administration marked Climate Week 2020 by announcing a series of new climate change-related initiatives. Below, we summarize some of the most notable actions:

Zero Emissions Vehicles by 2035

Among the actions, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-79-20 requiring the sales of all new passenger vehicles to be zero-emissions by 2035 and additional measures to eliminate emissions from the transportation sector. According to the Office of the Governor, the target would achieve more than a 35 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and an 80 percent improvement in oxides of nitrogen emissions from cars statewide.

The order also sets deliverables for new health and safety regulations to protect workers and communities from the impacts of oil extraction. The Governor is asking the Legislature to end the issuance of new hydraulic fracking permits by 2024.

Additional information on the Governor’s order and related actions are available here.

Launch of Climate Action Corps

Additionally, Governor Gavin Newsom announced the launch of the California Climate Action Corps, a first-in-the-nation approach to empower California residents to take meaningful actions to protect their homes, health, and communities against the impacts of climate change. Applications for the Climate Action Corps Fellows Program have launched this week, and over 250 AmeriCorps fellows will deploy through 2021 to support local climate action projects in front-line and low-income communities throughout the state. Fellows will be placed with state and local government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and universities and colleges to focus on developing and implementing climate action projects with an emphasis on volunteerism and community engagement.

California Volunteers is also establishing a statewide online volunteer hub of climate-focused volunteer opportunities. Environmental and climate-focused organizations will be able to post service opportunities to be activated by local volunteers, allowing all California residents to become engaged in climate action activities. Additional information on the Climate Action Corps is available here and a statement from the Governor’s Office is available here.