The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Tamra Gilbertson,

Peter Hart - 

Climate Justice Advocates Rally for Bold Action

As climate deteriorates, activists demand Governor Newsom and CARB move California off fossil fuels and reject industry scams.


Environmental and climate justice advocates are rallying outside the California Air Resource Board (CARB) meeting in Oakland this afternoon to demand a climate plan grounded in equity and bold, immediate action to phase out fossil fuels.

CARB is hosting listening sessions to discuss its proposed Scoping Plan, which has already been widely criticized for its timid deadlines and its reliance on carbon trading, carbon capture, biofuels and hydrogen buildout. Instead of near-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035, the current Scoping Plan sets 2045 as a goal for so-called carbon neutrality, which environmental justice communities and scientists alike have decried as far too little, too late.

Prior to the listening session, groups will host an informal gathering urging Governor Newsom to send CARB back to the drawing board until the scoping plan features real climate action. That means a plan that:

-Reaches near-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035 by cutting pollution at the source.

-Legally requires an enforceable process for meaningful consultation with Indian Nations coexistent with the State of California, aspiring toward Free, Prior, and Informed Consent.

-Ends oil extraction by 2030 and rapidly phases out refineries while centering frontline communities.

-Rejects industry scams like carbon trading, biofuels, hydrogen, and carbon capture and storage.

"Governor Newsom calls climate change an existential threat, but his climate plans do not come close to reflecting that," said Mark Schlosberg, Acting California Director at Food & Water Watch. "Rather than embracing industry-friendly pet projects like carbon capture or timelines that stretch decades into the future, Newsom should embrace a bold plan to move California off fossil fuels. Taking half measures won't help Californians avoid more intense droughts and wildfires. California and the nation need bold leadership from Governor Newsom now."

"Californians getting hit hard by wildfires and drought can't afford a climate plan that locks in decades of fossil fuel pollution instead of real climate protection," said Shaye Wolf, Ph.D., climate science director at the Center for Biological Diversity. "False solutions like carbon capture only prolong the fossil fuels burning up our planet. Gov. Newsom's call for no new gas plants needs to be just the start of a plan that gets California to near-zero carbon emissions by 2035."

"Climate change is a health emergency, but instead of urgent and bold policy measures, the California Air Resource Board and the Governor are sending us their thoughts and prayers. Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) is risky and puts overburdened communities in harms' way,'' said Physicians for Social Responsibility Board Member Dr. Marjaneh Moini. "By supporting CCS, Governor Newsom again fails to prioritize public health and frontline communities, and paves the way for massive subsidies to polluting industries. The Board and the Governor must instead support community-based solutions like rooftop solar with storage and regenerative agriculture. Californians deserve clean air, public health, good paying jobs and a livable future."

Food & Water Watch mobilizes regular people to build political power to move bold and uncompromised solutions to the most pressing food, water, and climate problems of our time. We work to protect people's health, communities, and democracy from the growing destructive power of the most powerful economic interests.

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