Examples of U.S. climate action alongside economic benefits is not limited to California. Ten states in New England adopted a cap and trade program for their power plants in 2005. Twenty-nine states have adopted requirements for the use of wind and solar energy, and 26 states have energy efficiency standards that require their utilities to offer programs such as home energy audits and rebates for efficient appliances that reduce power demand each year. These actions have generated economic opportunities—and sometimes reduced costs to consumers.
Leaders in other nations are coming to the same conclusion: in Mexico and Indonesia, regional governments have signed Green Growth Compacts that lay out plans to develop rural economies while simultaneously reducing carbon mitigations from the landscape sector.
Of course, climate action remains stalled at the federal level in the United States, with the Trump Administration dismantling policies put in place by the Obama Administration. Those rollbacks are proceeding even though the national economy continues to grow.
Yet there are some signs of hope. Recently, Carlos Curbelo, a Republican Congressman from Florida, put forward an idea for a carbon tax swap with the national gas tax, building on ideas for carbon pricing long advanced by many conservatives. The legislative proposal puts the focus on climate solutions that are good for the economy and the environment.
Meanwhile, reality has hit home for many of the world’s leading corporations, who now see climate action not as something to avoid but as a competitive advantage. One of corporate initiative that will get a lot of attention at the California summit is RE100. Founded by the Climate Group, IKEA and Swiss Re, the group consists of 140 companies that have pledged to get 100 percent of their electricity from renewable sources. Some of the most profitable companies in the world have pledged to meet the full 100 percent goal in the near-term, including Apple (2018), Bank of America (2020), Bloomberg (2025), Burberry (2022), Citi (2020), Coca-Cola (2020), eBay (2025), Goldman Sachs (2020), Google (2017), JP Morgan Chase (2020), LEGO (2017), Microsoft (2014), Prudential (2025), VISA (2019) and Wells Fargo (2020).