California Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced his plans to sign into law two climate-focused bills aimed at improving transparency among major corporations regarding greenhouse gas emissions and the associated financial risks linked to global warming. Newsom made this announcement during his visit to New York's Climate Week, which has brought together world leaders from various fields to address climate change challenges.
Last week, California lawmakers successfully passed legislation that mandates large businesses, ranging from oil and gas companies to retail giants, to disclose their direct greenhouse gas emissions as well as emissions resulting from employee business travel.
The law requires thousands of public and private businesses operating in California with an annual revenue exceeding $1 billion to disclose their emissions. The primary aim is to enhance transparency and encourage companies to explore ways to reduce their carbon footprint.
California Takes Action on Climate Change
California is making significant moves to tackle the pressing issue of climate change. Two bills were recently passed by the state Assembly, aimed at enforcing greater transparency among companies and holding them accountable for the financial risks associated with climate change.
The first bill requires companies that generate more than $500 million in annual revenue to disclose the potential threats posed by climate change to their business operations. Furthermore, these companies are also required to outline their strategies for addressing these risks. This information will prove valuable for individuals and lawmakers when making both public and private investment decisions.
State Sen. Henry Stern, a Democrat from Los Angeles, initiated this legislation with the aim of facilitating informed decision-making. Recognizing the significance of this bill, it was decided that companies must begin reporting this information in 2026, instead of the initial 2024 deadline. Additionally, reporting will now take place every other year, rather than annually.
In fact, Newsom's office made an important announcement on Saturday. California has officially filed a lawsuit against some of the largest oil and gas companies in the world. The lawsuit alleges that these companies intentionally misled the public about the dangers associated with fossil fuels, which are now recognized as major contributors to climate change-related storms and wildfires. These catastrophic events have caused billions of dollars in damage.
The civil lawsuit has been filed in state Superior Court in San Francisco and aims not only to hold these companies accountable but also to establish a fund financed by them. This fund will be designated for recovery efforts following devastating storms and fires, ensuring that those affected receive the necessary assistance.
California's commitment to addressing the climate crisis is evident through these recent actions. By implementing stricter reporting requirements and taking legal measures, the state is actively working towards a greener and more sustainable future. With these initiatives, California is setting an example for the rest of the nation to follow in the fight against climate change.