LOS ANGELES, USA — September 9, 2022 — Today, California Governor Newsom signed AB 2238, one of the most substantive bills addressing climate-driven heat passed in this year’s legislative session. The bill will require the California Environmental Protection Agency to develop a first-ever statewide system to rank heat waves by January 1, 2025. AB 2238 also directs the California Department of Insurance to conduct a study understand and quantify the costs related to past extreme heat events.
The following is a statement by Kathy Baughman McLeod, Senior Vice President and Director of the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center at the Atlantic Council, Chair of the Extreme Heat Resilience Alliance, and member of the California Insurance Commissioner’s Climate Insurance Working Group:
“Today, we congratulate Governor Newsom for taking swift action to protect Californians from extreme heat by signing AB 2238. People do not have to die from heat and this groundbreaking legislation goes a long way toward protecting 40 million Californians with a new, health-based heat warning system.
“This new legislation will enhance existing heat warning systems by categorizing heat waves based on their impact to human health and serve as a global model as the frequency and intensity of climate-driven heat waves explodes across California this week. Effective warnings, specifically for vulnerable populations, are the essential first step to reduce preventable deaths from heat.
The Arsht-Rock Resilience Center also congratulates and commends California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara for sponsoring the bill and its dedicated authors, Assembly members Luz Rivas and Eduardo Garcia, who skillfully guided it through the legislative process. We celebrate this important and timely milestone and look forward to partnering with the state to put this new warning system in place.”