California Legislators Heed Student Leaders’ Call to Declare a Climate Emergency & Adopt A Green New Deal for California

$100B by 2030 Plan Aims for 100% Carbon Neutral, Clean Energy Economy

March 4, 2019

SACRAMENTO – When 100 students from across the state descend on the Capitol on Monday to call for aggressive climate action, a group of legislators will greet them with a proposal to ramp up pre-2030 efforts in a decade-long emergency climate mobilization of $100 billion, accelerating California’s timeline for achieving aggressive statewide goals, including 100% clean energy and carbon neutrality.

Senators Henry Stern and Nancy Skinner and Assemblymembers Wendy Carrillo, Eduardo Garcia and Todd Gloria will join over 100 students from California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) to announce a multi-pronged effort in the Legislature to address a number of growing threats that amount to a “climate emergency,” including the mounting multi-billion dollar costs of natural disasters, children’s health and fossil fuel dependence weighing on the monthly bills of the middle class. 

The draft climate emergency resolution echoes calls by students and artists for bold climate action after California wildfires in 2017 and 2018 killed 151 people, injured at least 291 people, and caused approximately $21.5 billion in damage.

A discussion draft of the climate emergency resolution highlights the Legislature’s call for a “mobilization [of] unprecedented financial, technological, natural and human capital between now and 2030.” 

The mobilization would include a New Deal scale commitment of $100 billion of existing funds toward green innovation, infrastructure and workforce development to put California on an accelerated path to 100% clean energy and carbon neutrality by 2030. 


California State Capitol West Steps


Monday, March 4 at 10 am


  • Sophie Haddad, Chairperson for CALPIRG Students and UC San Diego student
  • Miguel Ramirez, UC Riverside student
  • Senator Henry Stern
  • Senator Nancy Skinner
  • Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo
  • Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia
  • Assemblymember Todd Gloria


Senator Stern: “Climate change is an emergency.  It’s burning down our hometowns, undermining our state’s public safety, driving alarming rates of childhood asthma and other new disease vectors like West Nile virus, and keeping middle class family budgets at the mercy of global oil and gas markets. California has gone big but we must go bigger if we’re going to make this 2030 deadline to turn things around.”

Senator Skinner: “As former director of Cities for Climate Protection who began to work on the climate crisis in 1992, I can attest that the failure, particularly by the U.S., to act has put the health and well-being of every person and our entire planet at grave risk. Scientists are clear we have a 12-year window. Thank you, students, for challenging us to accelerate California’s Green Deal and to engage every sector, public and private, in achieving a carbon free economy by 2030."

Assemblymember Gloria: “The science is clear. The evidence is all around us. Climate change is happening and it’s not only threatening our future, but also the future of our children and grandchildren. This is the real emergency in our nation and we must act.”

Assemblymember Carrillo: “Ultimately, climate change is an environmental justice issue. Communities of color and low-income neighborhoods often live in low tree density areas and next to freeways — seven which frame Assembly District 51 — experiencing the effects of pollution firsthand. In order to address the impact of climate change for future generations, we must act with courage now and continue to build upon California’s environmental leadership. I am excited to author legislation this year that will push our state toward a carbon-neutral future and get to work on exploring every avenue available to safeguard our environment.”

Assemblymember Garcia: “Climate consequences are happening now and our poorest communities are being hit the hardest. This is a public health crisis impacting the quality of air we breathe and the water we drink. California has been leading the charge and it is imperative that we continue to progress and help other areas to do the same. Our students and youth have, and remain instrumental as push ourselves to mitigate impacts and achieve climate equity. We are no longer fighting for our future, we are fighting for our now.”

Sophie Haddad, CALPIRG Students Statewide Board Chair, UC San Diego student: “As students, this is our future to protect. I will be 50 in 2050. We have to act fast to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, and that means transitioning our economy away from dirty energy sources and toward a clean energy future. With last year’s passage of SB 100, California is leading the way on clean electricity, but now we need California to take bold action to get our transportation and buildings completely off of fossil fuels.”

Miguel Ramirez, UC Riverside student: “We are now living with year-round impacts of climate change: fires, floods, and droughts. It’s more urgent than ever that California legislators rolls up their sleeves and figure out how our entire economy can thrive without fossil fuels. We’re ready to help however we can to ensure the computers we use, the buildings we live and work in, and the vehicles that take us where we need to go, are all powered by clean energy.”