Governor Newsom Announces Intention To Sign Senator Wiener’s Landmark Climate Bill

September 17, 2023

SACRAMENTO – At the Opening Ceremony of Climate Week NYC, Governor Gavin Newsom announced his intention to sign Senate Bill 253, the nation’s first comprehensive greenhouse gas emissions disclosure requirement, authored by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco). In response, Senator Wiener issued the following statement:

“In announcing he will sign SB 253, Governor Newsom is reaffirming California’s global climate leadership. These carbon disclosures are a simple but intensely powerful driver of decarbonization. When business leaders, investors, consumers, and analysts have full visibility into large corporations’ carbon emissions, they have the tools and incentives to turbocharge their decarbonization efforts. This legislation will support those companies doing their part to tackle the climate crisis and create accountability for those that aren’t. I applaud the Governor’s bold climate leadership — the planet needs more climate champions like Gavin Newsom.”

SB 253 will require any public or private company earning over a billion dollars in annual revenue that operates in California to publicly disclose the greenhouse gas emissions released from their operations and supply chain. These disclosures are a powerful accelerant to decarbonization, providing unprecedented clarity that will unlock new approaches and drive action to reduce emissions. The New York Times called the bill “a move with national and global repercussions in governments’ efforts to fight climate change.” 

Disclosures have a long history of driving environmental progress. When the US EPA created the Toxic Release Inventory, a corporate toxics disclosure regime, total releases of substances covered by the disclosures dropped 54.5% from 1988-2001. A recent study in Science found that mandatory disclosures could cut total corporate emissions 70% by pushing laggard companies to cut emissions to the median level of their industry.

The announcement comes one day after Governor Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Rob Bonta announced a landmark case against five Big Oil companies for misleading the public about the catastrophic dangers of climate change. The suit—the most ambitious attempt by any American official to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for climate change—alleges that this dishonest conduct continues to the present day, as Big Oil companies attempt to mislead the public about their greenhouse gas emissions. 

Read more about the Climate Accountability Package here:

California Lawmakers Vote to Require Disclosure of Greenhouse Emissions by Coral Davenport (New York Times, September 13) 

California’s Climate Disclosure Bill Could Have Nationwide Impacts (Inside Climate News, September 15)

California Legislature Passes Sweeping Emissions Bill (Wall Street Journal, September 12)