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AJR-20 Climate change.(2017-2018)

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Assembly Joint Resolution No. 20
CHAPTER 164

Relative to climate change.

[ Filed with Secretary of State  September 19, 2017. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AJR 20, Gonzalez Fletcher. Climate change.
This measure would declare that California will continue to lead in its efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and fight global climate change and would encourage other state legislatures and cities in the nation to continue to support and follow the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Paris Agreement. This measure would request that the United Nations create a category for the recognition and participation of subnational jurisdictions whose parent countries are not part of or have withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement.
Fiscal Committee: NO  

WHEREAS, Global climate change already has had observable effects on the environment; and
WHEREAS, According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the potential future effects of global climate change include more frequent wildfires, longer periods of drought in some regions, and an increase in the number, duration, and intensity of tropical storms; and
WHEREAS, The Third National Climate Assessment Report indicates temperatures will continue to rise, there will be more droughts and heatwaves, the sea level will rise one to four feet by 2100, and the Arctic is likely to become ice free; and
WHEREAS, California is already experiencing unpredictable shifts in weather patterns, prolonged fire seasons, and measurable sea-level rise associated with climate change; and
WHEREAS, California has been a leader on climate change for more than a decade through the enactment of landmark legislation, such as the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Division 25.5 (commencing with Section 38500) of the Health and Safety Code), also known as AB 32, and the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015 (Chapter 547 of the Statutes of 2015), also known as SB 350, and through policies and practices that allow for California residents to be innovators and early adapters for new technologies, like those related to renewable energy and clean fuels; and
WHEREAS, California is currently taking action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030; and
WHEREAS, At the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Paris Agreement, or COP 21 in Paris, on December 12, 2015 (Paris Agreement), parties reached a landmark agreement to combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low-carbon future; and
WHEREAS, The Paris Agreement builds upon the Convention and, for the first time, brings all nations into a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects, with enhanced support to assist developing countries to do so, and, thus, charts a new course in the global climate effort; and
WHEREAS, The Paris Agreement calls for policies that endeavor to limit the temperature rise to “well below” a rise of 2.0 Celsius above preindustrial times, with a target of 1.5 Celsius; and
WHEREAS, The accord calls for the eventual limiting of greenhouse gas emissions from human activity to a level that trees, soil, and oceans can absorb naturally between the middle and end of the century; and
WHEREAS, Additionally, nations agreed to review their carbon reduction policies every five years, and wealthier nations agreed to help finance renewable energy and other climate change policies in developing nations; and
WHEREAS, President of the United States Donald J. Trump unilaterally announced on June 1, 2017, the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, thereby creating uncertainty around any future efforts and policies by the United States government to limit greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change; and
WHEREAS, Governor Jerry Brown has called upon the governors of other states to commit to the goals of the Paris Agreement; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly and the Senate of the State of California, jointly, That the Legislature declares that California will continue to lead in its efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and fight global climate change and encourages other state legislatures and cities in the nation to continue to support and follow the Paris Agreement; and be it further
Resolved, That the Legislature requests that as the United Nations processes the request of the United States to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, the United Nations create a category for the recognition and participation of subnational jurisdictions whose parent countries are not part of or have withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the Governor of California, to the Secretary General of the United Nations, and to the author for appropriate distribution.