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Governor Brown Extends California's Climate Change Law

AP Photo / Richard Vogel

Calif., Gov. Jerry Brown, seated, signs legislation while joined by Senate President pro tempore Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, second from left, and State Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, in Los Angeles on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016.

AP Photo / Richard Vogel

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed legislation to extend the nation's most ambitious climate change law by another 10 years.

The bill sets a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40-percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

The Democratic governor calls the legislation the most aggressive target enacted by any government in North America.

“California is doing something that no other state has done. You’re putting into law real measures backed up by the real power of the state of California. This is big and I hope it sends a message across the country,” says Brown.

The legislation is an expansion of a 2006 law that set a goal of reducing climate-changing pollutants to 1990 levels by 2020. California is on target to reach that goal. 

“We once again raised the bar for the nation and the world to follow," says Senate President Pro-Tem Kevin de León. "Now it’s time to use all of the tools available to us to insure that we meet our ambitious goals, that includes investing our cap and trade dollars now.”

The legislation doesn’t address the future of the state’s cap-and-trade program. The program has raised nearly $4 billion.

Brown has said the legislation could provide leverage to convince businesses to support an extension of cap-and-trade, which requires polluters to pay to offset carbon emissions. 

The oil industry, business groups and Republicans opposed the legislation. The California Chamber of Commerce says it sets severe caps on emissions without requiring regulators to consider the effect on the economy.

Brown also signed a bill that would provide greater oversight of the appointed Air Resources Board, which is in charge of climate policy.