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California legislature approves nation's most sweeping emissions disclosure rules for big business

Governor Newsom, who has not come out publicly with a stance on this first-of-its-kind legislation, has until mid-October to sign it into law.

SAN DIEGO — California could make history when it comes to climate action. Newly approved legislation, which is now awaiting the Governor's signature, would require large corporations to disclose their level of greenhouse gas emissions on an annual basis. This comes at the same time as a series of passionate protests for climate action were held Friday by young environmental activists.

This Global Climate Strike has drawn thousands of young demonstrators from San Diego to the East Coast to Europe. The strike comes as California has a chance to take unprecedented legislative action in the fight against fossil fuels. Dozens of young people with the climate action group San Diego 350 pounded the pavement at SDSU Friday. They joined thousands of other demonstrators across the country and the world, demanding that leaders at all levels of government take action to save the planet.

"The locations might be different, but the message is the same," said Xavier Holmes with San Diego 350. "Youth will not be ignored and the time to take climate action is now!"

These demonstrations are happening as first-of-its-kind climate legislation sits on Governor Gavin Newsom's desk.

"This legislation, if the governor signs it, will be a game changer," said State Senator Scott Wiener. "This will move the dial."

This legislation would require all large companies doing business with California to disclose all of their greenhouse gas emissions, both direct and indirect. Senator Wiener wrote Senate Bill 253, which has passed both the state Senate and the Assembly.

"Having strong transparency, where billion-dollar-plus corporations simply have to provide a report every year about what their carbon emissions are, will put significant pressure on them to actually be green," Wiener told CBS 8. "Not just market themselves as green, but to be green, reduce their carbon footprint, and that will be extremely helpful."

While it has garnered strong support from some mega-corporations like Apple and Microsoft, other business interests have come out in fierce opposition, including the California Chamber of Commerce, asserting it would be too burdensome on businesses.

Weiner said a large number of companies are already doing things.

"So for them to suggest that there's something weird or new or crazy or overly complicated or impossible about doing this, is just false," he said.

Wiener said this legislation is commanding global attention.

"We would be setting the standard, setting the pace among the 50 states and the federal government if we did this," he added. "The world is watching us."

This legislation will be one of the focuses of "Climate Week,' taking place in New York City, which starts on Sunday. Governor Newsom, who has not come out publicly with a stance on this bill, has until mid-October to sign it into law.

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