What’s Next Climate Edition: California Is GOING BIG on Climate

Nextgen What's Next
September 19, 2022
Happy Climate Week!
For NGP, this year has been all about working on and advocating for state policies and investments that “Go Big on Climate” – actions that will make California more resilient, equitable, and prosperous! Over the course of this last month, in particular, we’ve launched new ad campaigns focused on our key climate priorities; spoken about the need for urgent climate action at several environmental rallies in front of the State Capitol, and consistently called upon the Governor and State Legislators to enact a fully climate-aligned state budget in interviews with NBC-LA, the Washington Post, and the New York Times – and much more.
With California’s historic $54 billion climate budget package now enacted and numerous, world-leading climate bills now signed into law by the Governor, we’re taking a moment to celebrate this year’s achievements and express our appreciation for your help. We also recognize, however, that there is still much more work ahead! To make sure you’re fully up to speed, we’ve put together the following climate-focused edition of our What’s Next email series which outlines everything we’ve accomplished this year to help California Go Big on Climate.
Climate Action Package: On top of the unprecedented $54 billion climate budget, the following slate of historic climate measures has been signed into law by Governor Newsom.
  • SB 1137 (Gonzalez) establishes a 3,200 ft. health and safety buffer zone between oil wells and schools, homes, and medical facilities;
  • AB 1279 (Muratsuchi) sets a climate pollution reduction target of 85% below 1990 levels to achieve carbon neutrality statewide by 2045;
  • SB 1020 (Laird) accelerates the transition to 100% clean energy by setting a target of 90% by 2035.
CA Climate Budget Report: Among California’s many climate accomplishments this year, the enactment of a $54 billion budget to address both the causes and impacts of the climate crisis is a major win for our state! Check out our brand new report – Progress Towards Climate 100: The $54 Billion California Climate Commitment – for a summary of what’s included in California’s climate budget, and an assessment of this budget against our Climate 100 principles, which call for:
  • Building climate action into every government agency’s core mission and budget
  • Utilizing a broad range of available funding sources in the budget
  • Locking in ongoing spending that will not need to be reauthorized year after year

Climate Ad Roundup: We shared multiple digital ads advocating for climate action in California this year, many of which directly targeted State Legislators and encouraged climate action on behalf of all Californians – because Later is Too Late! Our More Than a Headline ad series in May garnered over 81M impressions and spoke directly to key State Senators and Assemblymembers. Check out our most recent ad thanking Legislators for committing to California’s $54 billion climate budget package!
Capitol Climate Rallies:  NextGen and a group of our environmental partners gathered at the State Capitol recently to encourage Governor Newsom and State Legislators to Go Big on Climate. We had one message: the time is now for California to take immediate action on climate, later is too late! Our own Senior Policy Advisor, Dave Weiskopf, spoke on the importance of California aligning every dollar of state budget spending with our climate goals.
Check Us Out in the News: We made a lot of noise this year in the climate realm! Below are a few of our media achievements from this year:
  • Interview with NBC-LA: Our Executive Director, Arnie Sowell Jr., and Senior Policy Advisor, Dave Weiskopf, spoke with Conan Nolan on NBC-LA’s NewsConference to share their thoughts on California’s need to take bold climate action in this year’s state budget. As Southern California’s longest-running public affairs show, NewsConference helped spread the word that Later is Too Late and that it’s time for Legislators to Go Big on Climate at GoBigOnClimate.com.

  • New York Times, Washington Post, and the New Republic: Our own Dave Weiskopf has been quoted in several major publications throughout the year, encouraging California to Go Big on Climate, including a recent New York Times article praising Governor Newsom’s bold climate plan: “I could not be more proud of what our state has accomplished on climate this year. The $54B climate package alone is historic & unprecedented. There has never been a year like this on climate. We have more to do, & we have momentum on our side.” You can read each of our recent articles featuring Dave below:
  • Tom Steyer Op-Ed in Cal Matters: NextGen founder Tom Steyer published an op-ed in Cal Matters this August reminding the California Legislature to Go Big on Climate. As of September, the op-ed has been picked up in several additional California publications, and Tom Steyer’s tweet sharing the piece has been shared by Bill McKibben, Senator John Laird, and Leah Stokes. Read Tom Steyer’s op-ed here.

Letters to California Legislators: This year, we drafted joint letters with partner environmental organizations calling on Governor Newsom and State Legislators to seal the deal on climate in this year’s state budget:

  • In response, the Governor and the Legislature built on their original proposals and went even bigger on climate, passing laws that would achieve five ambitious new climate policy outcomes.  NextGen joined with environmental justice organizations and other allies – in an unprecedented display of unity – to support these major new climate policies that put people and communities first. Read the letter in full here.
  • We also joined with 23 of our allied organizations in calling on State Legislators to seal the deal on the $54 billion California Climate Commitment in the state budget. Read the letter in full here.
Climate #1 Issue with CA Voters: We partnered with Change Research earlier this year to survey voters in the California general election, and discovered that action on climate and the environment ranks as the #1 issue among California voters! Using the data from these polls, we encouraged State Legislators to take aggressive action to address climate change. Check out a breakdown of the survey results here!
It’s a lot to take in, but we’re very grateful that you were along for the ride. Your support of our efforts to help California in the fight against the climate crisis has led to the passage of our state’s historic $54 billion climate package. Thanks to you, California is officially Going Big On Climate! Keep up the great work, and keep a lookout for more climate updates later this month!
Thank you for your support,
NextGen Policy