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California Establishes 2030 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Target

California Gov. Brown issued an executive order to establish a California greenhouse gas reduction target of 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030—the most aggressive benchmark enacted by any government in North America to reduce carbon emissions over the next decade and a half.

“With this order, California sets a very high bar for itself and other states and nations, but it’s one that must be reached—for this generation and generations to come,” said Governor Brown.

The executive order aligns California’s greenhouse gas reduction targets with those of other international governments ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris later this year. The 28-nation European Union set the same target for 2030 just last October.

California is on track to meet or exceed the current target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, as established in the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32). California’s new emission reduction target of 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 will make it possible to reach the ultimate goal of reducing emissions 80 percent under 1990 levels by 2050.

In his inaugural address earlier this year, Gov. Brown announced that within the next 15 years, California will reduce today’s petroleum use in cars and trucks by up to 50 percent, increase the use of renewable sources in electrical generation from one-third to 50 percent, and implement other carbon reduction strategies.

“Building on our existing climate programs, the 40 percent reduction will drive and accelerate innovation, generate new jobs, improve air quality and hasten California’s transition to a clean energy economy,” said California Air Resources Board (CARB) Chairman Mary D. Nichols.