LCV and California LCV Statements on California Governor Newsom’s Executive Order on Lands and Climate Change

Contact: Nick Abraham, nabraham@lcv.org, 206-833-7021

Washington, D.C. and Sacramento, CA — In response to California Governor Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order that sets a goal for the state to protect 30 percent of California’s lands and ocean in the fight against climate change, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) and the California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV) issued the following statements: 

Statement from Gene Karpinski, LCV President:

“The climate, extinction, and nature crises demand the kinds of bold solutions that Governor Newsom is driving in California — a state experiencing the devastating impacts of climate fueled wildfires and extreme heat first hand. In the face of the United States losing a football field of natural area every 30 seconds to development, scientists are coalescing behind a goal of protecting at least 30% of our lands and ocean by 2030 to conserve our lands as carbon sinks to fight climate change, fight the extinction of plants and wildlife, and protect majestic landscapes and ocean for future generations.  We’re thrilled to see California leading the way and bringing stakeholders to the table to ensure that we reduce racial and economic disparities in access to nature; conserve more places for sportsmen and other outdoor enthusiasts to get outside; and support the conservation priorities of tribal nations.”

Statement from Mary Creasman, CEO, California League of Conservation Voters:

“The Governor’s continued action on climate change so soon after last month’s Executive Order is very encouraging. We have to lean into the powerful solutions that nature provides if we are going to combat the climate crisis. The Governor’s action today is a significant down payment towards a better future for Californians.

This summer, Californians have grappled with the extreme effects of climate change – from wildfires burning a record 4 million acres this year, to smoke filled air that turned our skies orange. Protecting at least 30 percent of California’s land, waters, and oceans by 2030 will yield multiple benefits – from sustaining our water quality and supply, mitigating extreme heat, cleaning our air, and providing access to the outdoors and opportunities for all Californians to connect with nature.

Implementation of these actions will be key. California’s Tribes must be included in the planning and implementation process and investments must be made in places where Black, Indigenous and communities of color live so that there is greater and more equitable access to nature in our state.

The Governor is making up for California’s lack of bold action in the last couple of years, and he is stepping up where the Legislature has failed. He has drawn a line in the sand around climate action and resilience – and that’s exactly what’s needed right now. No action can be too soon or too much.

We are eager to see what’s next from Governor Newsom and his administration. We can’t stop here – we must continue to pursue solutions in every sector that match the scale of the climate crisis.”

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