Lawmakers in California have voted to extend legislation to reduce carbon emissions, following President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the landmark Paris climate treaty. The law requires companies to purchase permits to release pollutants and greenhouse gases, and will now be extended to 2030. The state’s governor, Jerry Brown, commended Democrats and Republicans for their “courageous action” on the issue.
Brown said in a statement Monday:
“Tonight, California stood tall and once again, boldly confronted the existential threat of our time. That’s what good government looks like.”
California has established a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2030.
The vote to extend the law was, however, opposed by some conservative Republicans, who argued that the law would increase food and fuel prices for the poor. Andy Vidak, a California state senator called the measure a “regressive” tax that would fail to make an impact on global climate change.
“We could shut down the entire state of California and it would have no effect on the global climate,” he claimed.
As of 2014, California’s carbon dioxide emissions were the second highest in the country.
After negotiations on Monday over the measure, which lasted for hours, the legislation was approved 55 to 21.
The move contributes to California’s mounting opposition to President Trump’s policies, especially when it comes to the climate change and the environment. Trump said in June that he planned to withdraw from the Paris climate accord in order to negotiate a “fair” deal for US businesses.
California’s cap and trade policy limits emissions of greenhouse gases, allowing companies and factories to buy and sell permits to emit CO2. Some environmental advocates have argued that the measure doesn’t go far enough, allowing too many concessions for oil companies.
The state has repeatedly challenged the Trump administration’s efforts to scrap Obama’s efforts to address climate change and pollution. World leaders have praised California for stepping in where the federal government is unwilling to act, mandating that companies pay for their greenhouse gas emissions.
Governor brown has said the 40 percent reduction target for 2030 is necessary for future generations.