Climate change will exacerbate the droughts, floods, and wildfires that Californians already regularly experience, making them even more extreme and unpredictable. Gavin Newsom, California’s next governor, must prepare for these inevitable disasters while minimizing the greenhouse gas emissions of a society of nearly 40 million people.
CLEE, together with Resources Legacy Fund (RLF), has prepared three sets of actions Governor-Elect Gavin Newsom could take immediately to address wildfire; drought, flood, and drinking water safety and affordability; and the stubbornly high carbon pollution from our transportation systems.
- Wherever possible, the state should use incentives to spur local government actions that align with statewide goals such as reducing vehicle emissions or hardening communities against fire risk. But some situations—such as the provision of clean drinking water—warrant state regulation.
- The new governor should align the way state agencies spend money in order to achieve his priorities. Federal and state transportation dollars, for example, should go to projects that help reduce the number of miles people drive.
- The new governor should appoint leaders in each area who can spearhead cohesive, rapid action throughout state government.
Each set of recommendations arose from separate, half-day discussions in October involving a dozen or more practitioners and experts with varied perspectives from state and local government, environmental advocacy, industry, and academia.
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