Statement: California Climate Action

Statement of Eileen Claussen, President, Pew Center on Global Climate Change

June 3, 2005

"State initiatives are vital not only because they can help pave the way for federal action, but also because of the simple fact that U.S. states are large emitters of greenhouse gases. (CA is the 5th largest economy in the world). While state and regional action cannot substitute for a national response, it can help provide the foundation for that response; and it is time for a national response here in the U.S.

We applaud Gov. Schwarzenegger’s announcement, it is the latest sign of growing bi-partisan momentum in the United States to dealing with global warming and the reduction of GHG emissions. The targets the Governor set are aggressive and will require both a mandatory set of policies and a continued commitment of political will."

Current and Projected Emissions Levels:

California emissions in 1990 were approximately 445 MMTCO2E, including imported electricity. Emissions in 2001 were 505 MMTCO2E, and assuming that this growth trend continues, the California Energy Commissions (CEC) projects emissions growth to 587 MMTCO2 E in 2020, a 32% increase over 1990 levels.

California facts:

  • Population of 36 million - expected to grow to 41 million by 2010
  • 5th largest economy in the world
  • 5th largest consumer of energy in the world
  • CA emissions are 7.2 percent of U.S. GHG emissions and 1.4 percent of the world’s GHG emissions
  • If California was a country, it would rank 10th on the list of emitters
  • GHG emissions are projected to grow 10 percent by 2020