Climate-Safe California: A Path to a Thriving People and Planet

The most recent International Panel on Climate Change report has been touted as a code red for humanity. A recent New York Times article on the report highlights how things as critical as the future of our food systems are at serious risk; the article goes on to illustrate the unjust impacts that under-resourced nations are bearing. The mounting evidence surrounds us: extreme storms, heat waves, droughts, and wildfires are increasing—all with heartbreaking effects on people, plants, and animals. We look at our lives and feel like we’re big enough to be part of the problem but too small to do anything about it. We look at our economic and policy structures and aren’t seeing them change at the pace we know is needed. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and in despair when facing a future that seems incredibly dim.

That’s why I’m excited to share Ecology Action’s endorsement of the Climate-Safe California Campaign led by the Climate Center. The campaign’s goal is that by 2025, California will enact policies to accelerate equitable climate action, achieving net-negative emissions and resilient communities for all by 2030. This effort will catalyze other states, the nation, and the world to take climate action. Does this ambitious new vision sound impossible? The campaign goals are grounded in an analysis that demonstrates potential pathways to reducing all of our emissions and even achieving drawdown (taking more carbon out of the air than we put in) by 2030. The targets are tough but achievable, and we will generate jobs, improve health, and increase social equity as we make these transformative changes. This platform has four pillars: accelerating the phase-out of fossil fuels, preserving and scaling up nature-based carbon sequestration, investing in community resilience for everyone, and developing funding and financing solutions at a scale appropriate to the need.

With its strong economy, world-class innovation, and baseline of social and environmental policies, California is uniquely positioned to step into national leadership to chart the course our nation can follow to a climate-safe future for all. Our Monterey Bay Area, with its similar qualities and abundance of natural resources, is already moving to be a regional leader in realizing this vision. All carbon-neutrality pathways involve energy efficiency, decarbonized electricity, electrification, and carbon capture. Central Coast Community Energy has committed to a 100% clean and renewable portfolio by 2030, and Ecology Action is proud to be part of the solution, driving significant emission reductions through community-based climate-action, transportation, and water programs.

“Action absorbs anxiety,” says Angeles Arrien. So, when that next article on a climate change–induced disaster hits you in the gut, feel the grief and take some deep breaths—but don’t shut down your heart! And when you feel ready, take action on one thing you can do with what you have right now, wherever you’re at. Spend some time learning about the pathways to a climate-safe future so that you can spread the word and spread hope. Endorse the Climate-Safe California Campaign today and encourage your neighbors, your employers, your friends, and the businesses you frequent to join you.