SACRAMENTO, CA (STL.News) Governor Gavin Newsom announced that California has joined the Beyond Oil & Gas Alliance (BOGA) launched at COP26, bringing together national and subnational governments committed to advancing a just transition away from oil and gas production. Led by Costa Rica and Denmark, the first-of-its-kind alliance will help build momentum for states and nations working to phase out oil and gas production and support efforts to build a clean energy economy.
“California is a global leader in combating the climate crisis with bold action to protect our planet while growing the economy, but we can’t meet the challenge of this existential threat alone,” said Governor Newsom. “With fossil fuels powering much of the global energy system, it’s critical that we partner with other states and nations around the world to build momentum for the phase-out of oil and gas production. Together, we must move beyond oil and usher in a cleaner and greener future that safeguards our communities, environment and the economy.”
The new partnership comes on the heels of Governor Newsom’s announcement last month that the state is moving to prevent new oil drilling near communities and expand health protections as California works to phase out fossil fuels. The Governor has taken bold action to end the issuance of new fracking permits by 2024, move the state toward phasing out oil extraction by 2045 and reduce demand for oil by ending the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035.
On the front lines of the climate crisis, California is confronting this existential threat with action that is unprecedented in both nature and scale. Governor Newsom advanced a historic $15 billion climate package this year to tackle wildfire and drought challenges, help communities transition during the climate crisis and support the state’s Zero-Emission Vehicle goals. The Governor has also taken action to advance environmental justice, including efforts to protect Californians from harmful pollution and build climate resilience in disadvantaged communities. California is home to more than 485,000 clean energy jobs and the state’s renewable energy and clean vehicle industries lead the nation in growth. The state’s leading climate policies have seen the state exceed its 2020 climate target four years ahead of schedule, surpass one million zero-emission vehicle sales and create six times more clean jobs than fossil fuel jobs.
California’s delegation at COP26 has highlighted the state’s groundbreaking policies to combat the intensifying climate crisis and joined with international partners, top U.S. climate officials and others to discuss further collaboration, including productive bilateral meetings with officials from the governments of China, Mexico and Canada on a wide array of climate action. The Governor yesterday announced that California has signed on to the COP26 Declaration on Zero-Emission Cars and Vans, which aims to achieve 100% zero emission vehicle sales by 2035 in leading markets, and no later than 2040 globally. California yesterday also assumed leadership of the Transportation Decarbonisation Alliance, a unique collaboration bringing together countries, cities or regions and companies as the major drivers in sustainable, low-carbon mobility, and unveiled a Call to Action on Zero-Emission Infrastructure developed in partnership with the Netherlands to support public-private collaboration on the deployment of charging infrastructure.
Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis, on behalf of the state, last week signed on to Scotland’s Edinburgh Declaration, making California the first U.S. state to join this global network of governments dedicated to tackling biodiversity loss. The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) and the Europea Knowledge and Innovation Community, EIT Climate-KIC this week announced a new peer learning partnership to support California and Europe’s ambitious climate agendas, including projects to build climate resilience in front-line communities. Also this week, the California Department of General Services pledged to convert all owned or leased fleets to zero emission vehicles as soon as possible and the California Air Resources Board, on behalf of the state, signed a climate action declaration with the governments of New Zealand and Québec. The declaration is in line with AB 32’s requirement that California consult with other nations to facilitate the development of integrated and cost-effective regional, national and international greenhouse gas reduction programs.
Ahead of COP26, the Governor and other Under2 Coalition partners announced its transition to become a net zero coalition, raising ambition for member states and regions to achieve net zero emissions as soon as possible. California and fellow U.S. Climate Alliance states this week announced key policy areas of focus, including power, buildings, transportation, equity and resilience, in which states have committed to high-impact actions in support of the nation’s Paris Agreement targets. Also at COP26, members of the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification, which California helped launch in 2016, commended the Biden Administration’s new Ocean Policy Committee and urged bold federal climate action on this front, including through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration joining the Alliance.