This post was updated Sept. 12 at 12:49 p.m.
California legislators passed a bill Aug. 28 that will require the state to generate 100 percent of its electricity from renewable and zero-carbon sources by 2045.
Senate Bill 100 accelerates California’s current renewable energy goals. The state will generate 50 percent of its electricity from clean sources by 2026 instead of 2030. SB 100 also mandates that California will generate 60 percent renewable electricity by 2030 and 100 percent renewable electricity by 2045.
The California Public Interest Research Group at UCLA campaigned extensively to pass SB 100.
Nico Gist, the UCLA CALPIRG chapter chair and a rising fourth-year political science student, said the organization made phasing out fossil fuels a top priority because climate change is going to drastically impact lives in the coming decades.
“With SB 100, we had an opportunity to make our voices heard and ensure that the state is looking out for our best interests and protecting our future,” Gist said.
Nicolas Riani, the vice chair of CALPIRG at UCLA and a rising second-year public affairs student, said roughly 80 UCLA student volunteers were involved in campaigning for SB 100.
CALPIRG collected 20,000 petitions statewide, over 1,500 of which came from UCLA. The UCLA chapter also tweeted more than 300 photo petitions and got more than 80 students to call assembly member Sydney Kamlager-Dove, who represents the UCLA area, and Anthony Rendon, the speaker of the California Assembly.
Riani added that the chapter met with 60 legislators in support of SB 100, including Rendon, at two statewide lobbying days in Sacramento. They also hosted a press conference on the state capitol steps, which the bill’s author, state Sen. Kevin de León, and others attended.
Kyle Alves, the 100% Renewable Energy campaign coordinator at UCLA and a rising second-year environmental science student, said CALPIRG will continue its efforts to push for 100 percent renewable energy at UCLA.
“Continuing the momentum of passing SB 100 is the primary goal moving forward, and we will work to translate that to sway UCLA to go 100 percent renewable and then the rest of LA,” Alves said.
He added that CALPIRG will use many of the same campaigning tools from SB 100 efforts, such as grassroots organizing, collecting petitions and enlisting the support of other student groups. However, CALPIRG will also incorporate new techniques such as creating video content and hosting events.
“We also want to move in new directions to truly show student care by creating engaging videos and events,” Alves said. “We want to exclaim that it’s now time to mirror the goals set at the state level to tangible actions at the local.”
Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill into law Sept. 10.
California is the second state to generate solely clean energy by 2045, after Hawaii.