REPORT: CALIFORNIA GETS A C GRADE FOR CLIMATE ACTION

Press Release
February 24, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 24, 2021

CONTACT: Suzanne Spencer, 510-550-8172 [email protected]

REPORT: CALIFORNIA GETS A C GRADE FOR CLIMATE ACTION

California League of Conservation Voters Releases Annual Environmental Scorecard, Calls for Renewed Focus on Climate Crisis

Sacramento, CA - Today, the California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV) issued a call for bold climate action in the months ahead and released the organization’s annual California Environmental Scorecard. The Scorecard is a comprehensive analysis of where the state’s leaders stand on the environment and climate change.

California received a C grade on climate and environmental action and only 11 (nine Assemblymembers and two Senators) out of 120 legislators scored 100%. The Governor improved his score to 87%, thanks to his executive orders issued at the end of the year. With the exception of these executive orders, last year was largely a year of inaction with the climate crisis taking a back seat in Sacramento.

“As difficult as 2020 was for our elected leaders, it is still unacceptable to kick the can down the road,” said Mary Creasman, CEO, California League of Conservation Voters. “If it weren’t for the Governor’s last minute strong executive action, last year would be marked by both extreme climate impacts for Californians and gross inaction on the climate crisis.”

This year’s Scorecard - for the first time - also highlights if legislators are accepting direct campaign contributions from oil companies and major oil industry Political Action Committees (PACs). This analysis found that 70% of the California Legislature accepts campaign contributions from this industry. 60% of Democrats and 100% of Republicans take these dollars.

“Corporate polluters continue to have an outsized impact on policy in Sacramento,” added Creasman. “These numbers back up what we see on the ground. This past year a small group of legislators bravely fought for climate justice but they didn’t comprise enough of a majority in the legislature to pass bold policies. California has a reputation for being progressive but in reality corporate interests are still calling the shots in Sacramento when it comes to the environment and public health.”

With less than nine years left to address the most severe impacts of climate change, the California League of Conservation Voters is calling for renewed action in Sacramento and, in particular, the development of a comprehensive climate action plan for the state.

“We are grateful for the Governor’s action last year,” said Mike Young, Political and Organizing Director. “Looking ahead, we urge the Governor and the legislature to work together to ensure courageous progress this year. The Biden Administration has a clear climate action plan, with justice, jobs and public health at the center of it. Where is California’s clear climate action plan? We need a vision for the future that centers the health and safety of Californians. The country and the world is looking to California for leadership.”

The 2020 California Environmental Scorecard includes the following highlights:

California’s Overall Score: 74%

Governor Newsom’s Score: 87%

Members of the 2020 Climate Action Caucus (legislators that go above and beyond as environmental champions): Assemblymember Laura Friedman, Assembly Majority Leader Eloise Gómez Reyes, Senator Lena Gonzalez, Assemblymember Ash Kalra, Supervisor/Former Senator Holly Mitchell.

Members of the 2020 Polluter Caucus (legislators who are standing in the way of climate solutions): Assemblymember Jim Cooper, Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell, Assemblymember Jim Frazier, Senator Shannon Grove.

Assembly Overall Average Score: 71%

Senate Overall Average Score: 73%

Assembly Majority Leader Eloise Gómez Reyes, who was named by CLCV the “Public Health Protector” of 2020, offered this perspective on the importance of the Scorecard:

“CLCV is helping to shine a light on the need for strong leadership from California on the climate crisis. We have an incredible challenge to meet but also a true opportunity to innovate with bold solutions. We can address climate change and do so in a way that is just and equitable for all Californians.”

View the 2020 CA Environmental Scorecard

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