Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and The Global Warming Solutions Act

In 2006, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed The Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32), groundbreaking legislation that mandated the reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in California to 1990 levels by 2020. The legislation was an unprecedented step, both in its targets and in its support by a Republican governor. This oral history project offers the first, behind-the-scenes look at the history of AB32, from the conception of a Global Warming policy by the governor and his environmental advisor, Terry Tamminen, to its adoption in legislation by Fran Pavley and passage through the legislature thanks to the negotiating skill of Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez. The array of perspectives on the political process surrounding AB32 is one of the key contributions of the project, with interviews ranging from the governor and his administration staff, to policymakers and stakeholders such as the chamber of commerce. Ultimately, the project highlights the complex terrain of environmental politics in the twenty-first century, and pays tribute to the leaders of both parties who were brave enough to navigate it.

AB32 proved to be a watershed for climate policy. Contrary to naysayers, California not only met the 1990 emissions target, but did so four years early. Moreover, the state attracted billions in investment within the green technology and renewable energy sectors. The success of AB32 cemented California's place on the world stage, a leadership Schwarzenegger continued to advance throughout his governorship and after.

The Global Warming Solutions Act Oral History Project was conducted in partnership with the California State Archives and USC Schwarzenegger Institute. The interviews will be released in the winter of 2022.


Arnold Schwarzenegger

California Governor

Fran Pavley

Member of California

Assembly and Senate

Fabian Núñez

Speaker of the California Assembly

Susan Kennedy

Schwarzenegger Chief of Staff

Terry Tamminen

Schwarzenegger Chief Policy Advisor

Linda Adams

Secretary of California EPA

Richard Costigan

Schwarzenegger Legislative Secretary

Steve Schmidt

2006 Schwarzenegger

Campaign Manager

Allan Zaremberg

CEO, California Chamber of Commerce