May 5, 2022
Dear Governor Newsom, Pro Tem Atkins, and Speaker Rendon: The following groups support your goal of helping to stave off the worst impacts of climate change. In particular, we support using the budget as a tool to move California toward an equitable 100% clean energy economy, increase community resilience, and protect our state’s natural and working lands and waters.
The budget proposed by the Governor in January reflected a combined 2021-22 and 2022-23 climate investment of $37 billion, a climate investment larger than any other state (and most countries) have made to date. While each of our organizations have proposed or may propose changes to specific elements of the proposed budget, we applaud the vision reflected in the scale of this proposed set of investments. Moreover, we support the breadth of the action that is proposed in a broad range of state agencies. We urge you and all legislators to maintain and expand this level of commitment as budget negotiations move forward, to ensure that investments lock in durable progress on climate, and to increase climate investments proportionately as the true size of the surplus becomes known.
Based on recent estimates from the Legislative Analyst’s Office, this year’s budget may exceed $300 billion before it is enacted, and the available budget surplus may be more than double the amount projected in the January budget proposal. We may never have a better opportunity to double down on our state’s climate commitment. We must act now with every tool at our disposal to protect our state’s residents from the increasingly deadly effects of global warming and to accelerate a just and equitable transition to a carbon-neutral economy.
Global warming is not a niche issue, but one that impacts our whole state and therefore needs to be addressed by all the state agencies. Given concerns many have regarding the State Appropriations Limit, we urge you mobilize special funds, carefully targeted tax rebates and subventions, and capital outlays in a manner that advances climate action. Every part of our state government spending has the opportunity to help protect our people, our natural resources, and our economy from the worst impacts of the climate crisis. We must quickly learn to integrate equitable and effective climate action into every aspect of what the state does — from what vehicles taxpayer dollars purchase to how we manage funds for schools, roads, climate resilience, conservation, and other infrastructure.
As we look toward the May Revise and the passage of the 2022-23 Budget we want to express our support for applying a substantial portion of the increased surplus to bold investments that accelerate climate resilience and mitigation.
The current budget surplus represents an unprecedented opportunity to prepare for and mitigate the challenges global warming will inflict on our state. Please take the bold action this crisis demands. We look forward to working with you.
Arnold Sowell Jr.
California Government Affairs Director
Natural Resources Defense Council
Katelyn Roedner Sutter
US Climate Environmental Defense Fund
VP, Policy and Incentives
Pacific Forest Trust
Carbon Cycle Institute
Planning and Conservation League
Director of Advocacy
Californians Against Waste
Chief Executive Officer
The Climate Center
California Policy Manager
CA Policy Advocate
Union of Concerned Scientists
Active San Gabriel Valley
Resilient Rivers Director
Friends of the River
Policy Advocacy Manager
Steve Birdlebough & Willard Richards
Advocate & Chair
Sonoma County Transportation & Land-Use Coalition
Co-Chair, Legislative Committee
350 Bay Area Action