Over Governor Brown’s four terms in office—two from decades ago, and two just completed—California maintained and built on its deserved reputation for developing and implementing forward-thinking environmental policy. California’s innovations in environmental, climate, and energy policy have marked the state as a national, and even global, force. Governor Newsom is certain to build further on that legacy. At home, however, California continues to face entrenched environmental issues: the use and movement of water, the development of fossil fuel resources, and a housing affordability struggle that raises deep questions about land use policy.
This symposium will explore California’s status and future as an environmental pioneer. Panelists will examine the successes and challenges faced during Governor Brown’s tenure in office, taking a close look at the complexities of the state’s environmental policy commitments and what they have meant for California, the nation, and the international community. With Governor Newsom now at the helm, we will also look at today’s environmental leadership opportunities: both to stay the course and to build upon it.