California leads on climate change, says 50-state tool

California has completed the highest number of goals to prepare for climate change, followed by Massachusetts and New York, according to a first-of-its-kind 50-state tracking tool unveiled Thursday.

In the last five years, there's been a burst of state efforts to deal with already occurring climate impacts such as more frequent storms and rising sea levels. They've ranged from elevating wastewater treatment plants to insulating roads, building micro-grids for backup power or buying out homes in flood-prone areas.

California has been a leader, achieving 48 or 14% of its 345 self-described climate goals, says the new online tool developed by the Georgetown Climate Center, a nonpartisan research group based at Georgetown University Law School. It passed, for example, a "cool pavements" bill in 2012 to encourage lighter-colored paving materials that reduce the heat-island effect in urban areas.

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