Over the last several weeks of wildfires, Californians have seen first-hand the devastating effects of climate change on the state’s ecosystems and their own personal health and livelihoods. Just weeks ago, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order to phase out gas-powered vehicles by 2035 as a way to curb the worst impacts of climate change.
Now, Newsom is going one step further, issuing another executive order to ensure that at least 30% of the state’s 2 million acres of state-owned land (over 2% of the total land area) is conserved by 2030. The order directs state agencies to protect and bolster soil health, restore wetlands, manage forests, and create and maintain more parks and green spaces, among other measures.
“This is a critical part of the climate change conversation, and it’s so often omitted,” said Governor Newsom. “When we talk about climate change, we get so consumed by energy and industry, commercial and residential side of this equation, and we forget our working lands. We forget our natural lands. We forget about species and we forget about animals, and plants, and insects. All of these things that truly make life not only worth living but life even capable of living.”
What is your state doing to protect its environment and combat climate change? What is stopping it from taking decisive action similar to California’s?