States with poor climate policy ‘overlap’ with those seeking to limit rights, Kamala Harris says
California residents’ political power “broke down at the hands of a few” when it comes to climate change, Kamala Harris said in an interview with HuffPost published Monday. Harris, a presidential candidate, says the role of government in addressing the climate crisis was a “failure,” and that California was now “at the epicenter of the problem.”
This was not an argument Harris made in 2015, before her presidential campaign took off, when she was campaigning on the issue. What she is saying now is an argument that California’s political power had broken down for a few years, and that has now been reversed. Harris sees California’s problems as a result of the 2016 election, when Trump and his administration took action on climate change policy ― a conclusion shared by a growing number of experts.
Harris’ comments are in response to an article published last week about the role of California in setting the rules for the global climate accord meant to limit temperature rises and to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. She argues it was not California itself, but the states with little to no climate legislation in place ― like New York and New Jersey ― that set the limits on greenhouse gas reductions.
“They are doing their best to take away our rights the moment that they feel like it’s politically expedient,” Harris told the publication, adding she was “absolutely not talking about California.”
California’s position on many climate-related initiatives
California was an important player in setting the rules for the Paris Agreement, which committed 195 countries to reduce the global emissions of greenhouse gases. The agreement calls for countries to put limits on the amount of carbon dioxide they release every year, with a goal to slow down the pace of global warming.
New York and New Jersey, the two states with the fewest climate policies in place ― California had just enacted a bill requiring that electricity from certain plants be produced with a much cleaner fuel source ― set the most ambitious carbon limits in