Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon delivered that stark assessment of California’s efforts to combat climate change in a Monday phone call from the United Nations conference in Scotland — turning on its head Gov. Gavin Newsom’s view that California is taking “action that is unprecedented in both nature and scale” by phasing out oil production and the sale of gas-powered cars.
The Lakewood Democrat rattled off examples of other cities and countries outperforming California: Paris is “ahead of us” on dealing with extreme heat, the German state of Baden-Württemberg is “certainly ahead of where we are” on transportation, and there are “various governments in India that have more aggressive goals than we have.”
Indeed, Rendon depicted California as a state that is pursuing outdated solutions to the climate crisis. “This is not a matter of ego,” he told me. “This is a matter of these folks having aggressive goals that are consistent with where we know the climate crisis is. When we developed our goals a couple of years ago … they were adequate for where we thought … climate change was. Things are much worse now than we thought they were.”
In a Monday press conference, California’s state Senate delegation also suggested they were learning more than leading in Glasgow. “This is the homework club,” said Senate Majority Leader Bob Hertzberg. “We’re taking notes and working our hearts out.”
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