Climate change is rapidly accelerating in California, state report says
State environmental officials say the state is being forced to cut spending in response to the devastating effects of climate change.
The state’s annual fiscal year 2018-2019 budget proposal released Thursday is projected to deliver less than $17 billion to public agencies, down by $2.6 billion from last year’s state budget.
The new report, which identifies ways the state can still be prosperous in the face of climate change, is a wake-up call for many.
“We’re on the precipice of the most devastating economic changes that have ever happened to this state,” said Jennifer Taylor, associate superintendent for the Office of Emergency Services. “We’re facing unprecedented consequences from climate change — not only for state government but across the economy as a whole.”
The proposal — the latest in a series of budget cuts by Gov. Jerry Brown to reduce the state’s overall spending — calls for reducing the state’s General Fund by $2.6 billion, down from $2.9 billion in the previous year.
The largest cut is to the Department of Developmental Services, which is set to lose $1.9 billion, down from $1.6 billion the previous year. The state’s highest-spending agency, Public Utilities Commission, is set to lose $1.2 billion, down from $1 billion last year.
The plan comes as a number of businesses are struggling to absorb the impacts of the crisis: many are laying off employees and shutting down operations.
A number of large, publicly owned corporations are also facing cutbacks, and other industries are being asked to share the burden with less government regulation and more competition.
“We had hoped that as we dealt with the economic impact of the wildfires and other natural disasters in early 2019, that we could begin to stabilize the budget for the future,” the report says. “But, in an environment where the state is facing significant and rapid economic, social, and environmental damage as a result of climate change, we now have no choice but to make deep cuts at the state level.”
The report — part of the year-end fiscal year 2018-2019 budget proposal — is a wake-up call for many. State environmental officials say the state is being forced to