“Californians have much to gain by aggressive action on climate change”: PHI Statement on California Climate Change Executive Order
Statement from Matthew Marsom, Vice President of Programs and Public Policy
“The Public Health Institute supports Governor Newsom’s climate action executive order N-79-20, which takes decisive steps towards mitigating the accelerating impacts of climate change by phasing out the sale of gasoline powered vehicles. Efforts to curb pollution from the freight sector in particular will help address the disproportionate impact of freight pollution on communities of color and low-income communities which are often, by design, directly in these transit paths.
“As the world’s fifth biggest economy, and one of the country’s largest and most diverse states—geographically, racially, and economically—Californians have much to gain by aggressive action. And we stand to lose even more if we don’t fully commit to using every tool available to arrest the causes of climate change. Worsening drought, heat and wildfires are impacting health, costing lives and crippling our economy. As with other health concerns, these impacts are felt first and worst in our communities that experience poverty, systemic racism and other inequities.
“Governor Newsom has signaled that more climate actions are to come. While focusing on consumers and the products they buy is one step, we need actions that hold our biggest polluters—corporations, particularly oil and gas companies—accountable immediately and that address the disproportionate impacts felt in low-income and communities of color where big polluters cluster. We need to capture carbon with healthy soils, forests and green spaces; emission reductions alone will not fix the problem, only stop it from growing worse. And, we need solutions that mitigate the impacts of climate change by creating healthier, more resilient communities. We look forward to working with the State on this critical effort.”