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California To Use 100 Percent Renewable Energy By 2045

The state of California is aiming to produce all of its energy requirements from renewable energy sources by 2045.

A bill passed May 31 by the California State Senate also commits the state to reach a goal of producing 50 percent of its energy from renewables by 2026, rather than 2030, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The bill was sponsored by Democratic State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon.

"It's the most far-reaching, ambitious proposal of its kind in the nation, in the entire world," de Leon told Democracy Now.

The state senator criticized the decision by President Donald Trump to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement on climate change, but vowed this would not stop California.

"This is our reality. We're not going to allow one huge, potentially catastrophic decision by the president to reverse generations of progress at the height of our historic diversity, our scientific advancement, our economic output, as well as our sense of global responsibility. We refuse to go back and recede," added de Leon.

He argued that Trump's move meant relinquishing U.S. global leadership.

"We can't retreat now, given the fact that the president has demonstrated and shown to the world that he has actually served the climate leadership mantle directly to the Chinese, and obviously the Chinese are more than happy to assume the role to be the world leader when it comes to climate energy," he added.

De Leon's bill was met with some opposition in the State Senate from Republicans.

"What if we can't make that mandate we're putting into law today?" Republican State Sen. Jeff Stone asked, according to the Times. "What it's going to do is drive up electricity bills for our businesses."

De Leon believes too much is at stake not to act. He told Democracy Now that California has around 500,000 jobs linked to renewable energies and noted that this was ten times more than the total number of workers employed in coal mining across the country.

He went on to call on California to reach out to other parts of the U.S. to take similar action and to engage with world leaders committed to tackling climate change. He pointed out that Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown is currently in China to discuss the response to climate change.

"We are going to move forward, with or without Donald Trump. He cannot stop the momentum that's happening in California," said de Leon, according to Democracy Now.

Sources: Democracy Now, Los Angeles Times / Photo credit: Steven Pavlov/Wikimedia Commons

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