California governor commits to 100 percent clean energy

Sept 10 (Reuters) - California Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed a bill requiring the state to source electricity from exclusively carbon-free sources by 2045, a move aimed at combating climate change that clashes with U.S. President Donald Trump's pro-fossil fuel policies.

The law makes California the largest global economy to commit to 100 percent clean energy. Hawaii is the only other U.S. state to set a similar goal.

"There is no understating the importance of this measure," Brown said at a signing ceremony in Sacramento surrounded by state lawmakers.

The law sends a message that California supports the global Paris agreement to fight climate change, he said. Trump withdrew from the accord last year over concerns that it would hurt the U.S. economy, making the United States the only country to do so.

California governor Jerry Brown
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California governor Jerry Brown
U.S. Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore (R) embraces Oakland California Mayor and former Democratic presidential candidate Jerry Brown at a campaign rally for Gore at the International Warehouse Union's Local 6 Hall in Oakland, California, February 25. MS/SV
U.S. Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore raises arms with Oakland, California Mayor and former Democratic presidential candidate Jerry Brown at a campaign rally for Gore at the International Warehouse Union's Local 6 Hall in Oakland February 25. MS/SV
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA) talks with former California Governor and current Mayor of Oakland, California, Jerry Brown (L) and Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) at right as they leave San Francisco aboard the "Bay Clipper" ferry boat bound for Oakland, February 27, 2004. Kerry is campaigning throughout California as he continues his "Jobs Tour" of the Super Tuesday battleground states before Tuesday's crucial caucuses and primaries. REUTERS/Jim Bourg US ELECTION JRB/GAC
Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown sits in his campaign office in Oakland, California October 12, 2006. Brown, nicknamed California's "Governor Moonbeam" in the 1970s for his unconventional ideas, at age 68 seeks to cap an unusual political career by becoming the state attorney general. Picture taken October 12, 2006. REUTERS/Kimberly White (UNITED STATES)
California Attorney General Edmund "Jerry" Brown Jr. speaks at a news conference in Los Angeles, California April 19, 2010. Brown said on Monday he has asked a state court to compel Moody's Investors Service to comply with a subpoena from his office for information on its role in the financial crisis. Brown wants the rating agency to explain how it came to assign its top ratings to securities that were backed by risky subprime mortgages and other assets that later turned toxic. REUTERS/Fred Prouser (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS)
Gov. Jerry Brown addresses the audience as he visits the Rosie the Riveter National Monument to sign the equal pay act into law on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015, in Richmond, Calif. (Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group/TNS via Getty Images)
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton (L) talks with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown at a rally at San Jose State University in San Jose, California October 17, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)
California Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman (L), California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown (R) appear together at The Women's Conference in Long Beach, California, October 26, 2010. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT POLITICS)
Democratic candidate for California Governor Jerry Brown thanks his wife Anne as he speaks to supporters during his election night rally in Oakland, California November 2, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith (UNITED STATES - Tags: ELECTIONS POLITICS)
Jerry Brown (L) is sworn as Governor of California, as his wife Anne Gust Brown (C) holds a Bible, and California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye administers the oath during inauguration ceremonies at the Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento, California January 3, 2011. Brown, at 72, is the oldest governor in California history. REUTERS/Robert Durell. (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS IMAGES OF THE DAY)
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Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu (R) and California Governor Jerry Brown are seen at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California March 5, 2014. The two leaders signed an agreement to develop joint projects and conduct mutually beneficially research in California and Israel. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)
California Governor Edmund "Jerry" Brown and Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi attend a meeting at the U.S. Center during the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) at Le Bourget, near Paris, France, December 8, 2015. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen
California Governor Jerry Brown and Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom greet well wishers after Brown delivered his final state of the state address in Sacramento, California, U.S., January 25, 2018. REUTERS/Fred Greaves

"We are going to meet the Paris agreement and we're going to continue down that path to transition our economy to zero carbon emissions," Brown said.

Brown's signing came days before he hosts a gathering of local, international and business leaders in San Francisco to highlight the urgency of addressing climate change.

California has repeatedly clashed with the federal government's policies on climate change, immigration and other issues since Trump became president.

The bill received strong support from environmental activists, renewable energy companies and public health groups. The state's biggest utilities, however, opposed the measure.

Utility Pacific Gas & Electric said the law could raise customer bills and make the grid less reliable. "If it's not affordable, it's not sustainable," utility spokeswoman Lynsey Paulo said in an emailed statement.

The clean energy bill, known as SB 100, passed the legislature last month.

The law requires utilities to source 60 percent of their power from renewable energy by the end of 2030, up from a prior goal of 50 percent. By 2045, all of the state's electricity must come from renewable or other zero-carbon sources.

In 2017, 32 percent of California's retail electricity sales were served by renewable energy facilities, according to the California Energy Commission. (Reporting by Nichola Groom Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Richard Chang)

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