California is Vulnerable to Climate Change
California has been suffering from a major drought since 2012, costing the state over $3 billion in 2015 and 2016. Record breaking temperatures have been a key driver of the drought. A second climate-linked driver is the “ridiculously resilient ridge” of high pressure that has kept rain from the state.
14 of California’s 20 worst wildfires have occurred in just the last ten years. The increasing fire risk for California is a due to climate change. In just one year, (2015) wildfires cost insurers over a billion dollars, while total economic costs from 2015’s fires will be over two billion. The state has spent over $336 million fighting the fires in 2015 and 2016, a figure that doesn’t include economic costs.
As heat waves become more frequent and intense due to climate change, Californians will be at greater risk of health impacts. The 2006 heat wave, a glimpse of what warming will bring, caused over 140 deaths.
Clean Energy Efforts and Opinions in California
California is a clean energy leader, getting 20% of its electricity from renewables and proving you can grow your economy while reducing emissions.
California was the first state to submit a draft compliance plan for the Clean Power Plan, and the only state with a cap on emissions.
California is the number one state for solar capacity, employing 75,000 people and powering 3,775,000 homes.
California is ranked second for number of wind turbines and third among the 50 states for wind power installations. The wind industry employs up to 4,000 Californians.
Californians strongly support renewables, with 79% estimated to support funding research in clean energy and regulating CO2 as a pollutant.
- California is a leader in clean tech, electric vehicles, energy efficiency and other measures.