NEWS Build Back Better on Climate with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Alex Padilla
October 14, 2021: Build Back Better on Climate Press Event
RAEL director Dan Kammen had the pleasure to appear with
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA), Eddie Ahn, Executive Director, Brightline Defense, and Rev. Sally Bingham, President Emeritus, Regeneration Project.
Comments by Daniel Kammen
Advisor for Innovative Energy Solutions, US Agency for International Development (USAID)
James and Katherine Lau Distinguished Professor of Sustainability
Energy and Resources Group & Goldman School of Public Policy, & Dept of Nuclear Eng., UC Berkeley
Former Science Envoy, US Department of State
Coordinating Lead Author, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Twitter: @dan_kammen | URL: http://rael.berkeley.edu
I could not be more honored than to share the stage with these remarkable Californians who are crafting pro-climate, pro-justice policies for a healthy state and federal economy. Thank you, Speaker Pelosi and Senator Padilla for your efforts and commitment to a just, inclusive, and sustainable energy transition.
California is committed to a carbon neutral economy by 2045, and is in discussions to move that date forward. This commitment has already generated economic and justice returns for residents of the state, and for our neighbors and trading partners.
As part of SB32 and SB100, California committed 35% or more (a floor, not ceiling) of its Cap & Trade revenue funds to meeting the needs of communities of color, of under-served and of fence-line communities. The jobs and equity benefits of this policy are already clear: California now has several times more jobs in the clean energy sector than in the fossil-fuel and current utility sectors. President Biden’s Justice40 and the Build Back Better Act builds on the California goal with an expanded federal effort that invests in smart infrastructure to create jobs, that will also clean the air and water in the most needy communities nationwide.
The move to low-carbon electric vehicle mobility and freight transportation addresses the largest remaining share of California pollution, with over 1 million EV now in use across the state. Justice is vital to meeting climate and community goals. Commitments by ride-sharing companies to 100% EV vehicles fleets by 2030 and making low-cost lease deals available to drivers is an excellent example of a commitment that can be brought forward in time and expanded nationwide.
A clean energy economy is huge lift, but it is not enough. We must re-invest in healthy forests, fire-safe communities, and a healthy ocean. Build Back Better begins that reinvestment while launching new sustainable economic sectors such as off-shore wind, green hydrogen, advanced energy storage, affordable green homes, and smart buildings.
The world is moving to clean energy – over the last 2 years, 90% of new power plants installed worldwide over use renewable energy. The Build Back Better Act will create opportunities for US exports, and accelerate all of these critically important clean investments in impressive pro-job and pro-justice ways. As the US gets ready for the international climate conference (COP26) next month in Glasgow, Scotland, the Build Back Better Act is what we need economically, socially, environmentally, and morally. It is time to act.
 Scott Wiener and Daniel Kammen (2021) “Why housing policy is climate policy,” The New York Times, March 25, 2019. http://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/25/opinion/california-home-prices-climate.html
 Daniel Kammen (2020) “How electric vehicles can help advance social justice,” The San Francisco Chronicle, June 21. https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/article/How-electric-vehicles-can-help-advance-social-15351293.php
 Such as The Blue Climate Initiative, https://www.blueclimateinitiative.org & USAID’s Clean Cities, Blue Ocean Program, https://www.usaid.gov/sri-lanka/press-releases/apr-23–2021-united-states-launches-clean-cities-blue-ocean-program-tackle-plastic-pollution
 Daniel Kammen and Manuel Pastor (2021) “Carbon neutral isn’t good enough. California needs to be carbon negative by 2030,” The San Francisco Chronicle, July 31. https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/Carbon-neutral-isn-t-good-enough-California-16351149.php