California Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday said the state’s in a “transformational moment” to shift away from fossil fuels, as climate change continues to fuel devastating wildfire seasons and historic drought conditions across California.
The governor’s remarks came shortly after the state unveiled this year’s budget proposal, which invests $22 billion in new climate change funding and allocates money from last year’s budget for a total of $37 billion in climate investment over six years.
“The magnitude of the challenge is self-evident,” Newsom said. “The extreme droughts, the record-breaking heat that we experienced just 24 or so months ago, record-breaking wildfires … require us to do more and to manage these existential threats more aggressively. We’re doing everything in our power, not just rhetorical.”
As California grapples with worsening wildfires, water shortages and a historic drought, Newsom has faced growing pressure to act.
So far, the governor has signed executive orders requiring that all new cars to be electric by 2035 and banning new fracking permits by 2024. Shifting the transportation sector towards cleaner energy is a major component of the budget plan, as cars, trucks and other vehicles comprise about 40% of the state’s climate-changing pollution.