Opinion: Developing Green Climate Tech Can Be California’s Next Success Story

A SunEdison solar facility in Valley Center. Photo by Chris Jennewein

Next month in Glasgow, Scotland, leaders from around the world will meet to decide the fate of the earth. If that sounds terrifying, it should.

The goal of COP26 in Glasgow is to get nations to increase their pledges for climate action enough to stave off the worst impacts of climate change. The stakes are high and success far from guaranteed.  

I have the privilege of going to Glasgow, with two goals in mind. First, we need to show that California will continue not just doing our share but leading the nation and the world on this issue. Second, we need to bring back the best ideas on how to make progress.

Current pledges from nations around the world don’t add up to enough action to prevent a climate disaster. That is not a surprise. The strategy behind the Paris Agreement was for everyone to get started, make progress and then come back with more ambitious pledges once they gained confidence — both in their own ability to reduce emissions and in their trust that everyone else was also going to do their fair share.  

California’s progress is important for building that confidence. The world needs California’s leadership not just in reducing our own emissions but also in demonstrating how it can be done. Our policy innovations, like the Renewables Portfolio Standard to clean up the grid, have demonstrated that progress is possible and have become a roadmap widely followed by others.


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