Governor Jerry Brown extends climate change bill 10 years

TREASURE ISLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- California's landmark climate change legislation has now been extended until 2030 with the stroke of Governor Jerry Brown's pen in a ceremony on Treasure Island Tuesday.

There was a resounding message from the current California governor, Jerry Brown, a democrat, and former governor Schwarzenegger, a republican, that California is still leading the country and the world when it comes to climate change with the passage of this extension to cap and trade.

It seemed impossible a few weeks ago to get environmentalists, business leaders, republicans and democrats on the same page.

RELATED: California's cap and trade policy gets new lease on life

"Legislative unicorns do exist. There was almost a mythical nature in how this thing came together, of different industries, environmentalist, political parties coming together to find a solution," California Senate President Kevin de Leon said.

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Governor Jerry Brown signed a landmark climate bill Tuesday on Treasure Island, which would extend the state's cap-and-trade program.

AB 398 passed both the assembly and senate last week. With great fanfare Tuesday, Governor Jerry Brown signed the cap and trade extension in the same spot where then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the original Climate change bill in 2006 - on Treasure Island with San Francisco as a backdrop.

Cap and trade requires companies to buy permits to release greenhouse gasses, providing financial incentives to reduce carbon emissions.

"China is copying this caps and trade plan. Quebec has already joined. Ontario is coming in. Washington and Oregon and I believe other states on the East Coast will follow," Brown said.
There were also critiques aimed squarely at Washington.

"It also shows the rest of the world that America did not drop out of the Paris agreement," Schwarzenegger said. "Only one man dropped out, Americans did not drop out."

Republican leaders in Washington opposed California cap and trade as another tax on Business. But former governor Schwarzenegger cited statistics that under cap and trade California has created the lions share of new jobs, restored open space, planted trees and supported zero emission vehicles.

California is on target to hit its 2020 goal and then with this new extension is pledging to cut emissions by another 40 percent by 2030.

Click here for more stories on climate change.

ABC7 News contributed to this story.
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