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Score one for climate sanity: Yesterday California’s voters overwhelmingly rejected Prop 23, a measure designed to undermine the state’s ambitious clean energy program. They also elected a governor who has pledged to accelerate the state’s green transition. This news resonates far beyond California, as the US green mantle shifts from a gridlocked federal government to the states that have supported clean energy all along. Look for a surge toward national and international climate action by a coalition of green states that represent half the country’s population and well over half of its income. And look for new international dynamics, as the American green states join their regional counterparts in Europe, China, India and elsewhere in developing new models of international cooperation to reduce carbon emissions. We’ve tried national and international negotiations around traditionally-set tables, and they’ve failed. Meanwhile, the signs are everywhere that dangerous climate change is already upon us. So let’s expand the table to accommodate the new players, revision the settings and try again – quickly.

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CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD does not take institutional positions.