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Global Climate Action Summit begins in San Francisco

Dr. Mario Picazo
Meteorologist, PhD

Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 2:59 PM - This week San Francisco is 'the place' to talk and debate climate change. Thousands of political and business leaders, scientists, activists, journalists and celebrities will gather in the Golden City for a global summit on climate change.

The initiative of California Governor Jerry Brown is to make California a worldwide flag-bearer on such a relevant issue, especially when the federal government is in retreat after President Trump decided to pull out of the Paris climate agreement more than a year ago. Brown will be leaving office in January, but not without leading California to major gains in renewable energy and cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. He has also dealt with record drought, floods, mudslides and massive wildfires while in office, all related to the ongoing climate change scenario impacting the state.

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There is a solid and distinguished list of attendants who will be hopping to go around the Trump administration and secure pledges from cities, states, countries and corporations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions beyond the goals set three years ago at the Paris climate summit. 

In a recent interview, Brown said we are not where we need to be. With climate changing, crops will fail, parts of the world will become unlivable, migrations will increase by the millions and we could be facing something quite catastrophic.

California is currently the most high-profile opponent of the Trump administration's view that climate change is either a hoax or too expensive to confront.  

California Governor Jerry Brown

Recently, the California Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee approved Senate Bill 100, which establishes a new target for California´s energy future. It ensures that 60 percent of California's electricity will come from clean sources by 2030 and 100 percent by 2045. 

The ambitious plan contemplates setting limits on California's electrical grid hydrocarbon consumption and aim to gradually increase renewable energy consumption in the coming decades. Reduce pollution and carbon emissions while creating thousands of jobs in the renewable energy sector is currently one of the nation's most ambitious clean-energy goals. 

The most populated state in the U.S. with close to 40 million is also the fifth largest economy in the world. Within the country, it is also the second total greatest emitter of carbon dioxide, but the 49th by energy consumed per person. The new bill will require California utilities to get half of their energy from wind, solar and other specific renewable sources as early as 2026, that is, four years earlier than current law requires. 

The summit will which runs Wednesday through Friday, has five main work groups arranged by topics. Healthy Energy Systems, Inclusive Economic Growth, Sustainable Communities, Land and Ocean Stewardship and Transformative Climate Investments. 

The idea is to have the summit as a launch pad for deeper worldwide commitments and accelerated action from countries that can put the world on track to prevent dangerous climate change extremes. The decarbonization of the global economy is a must, and states, regions, cities, businesses and investors are leading the charge on pushing down global emissions by 2020, setting the stage to reach net zero emissions by midcentury. 

If you can't make it to San Francisco September 12 to 14, you are always welcome to attend the summit by streaming it live via Youtube, Facebook and Twitter. 


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