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California Aims to Reduce Emissions with New 2030 Climate Goals

Moving to limit the state’s dependence on oil and exposure to harmful air pollution, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) today released its initial draft plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 – the most ambitious target in North America. The plan builds on the state’s successful efforts to reach its more immediate goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and outlines the most effective ways to reach the new 2030 goal, including the greater use of alternative fuels and low-emission vehicles.

California is reducing emissions through a series of actions, innovative solutions and advances in technology, including cleaner, more fuel-efficient cars and zero emission vehicles, low-carbon fuels, renewable energy, Cap-and-Trade regulations, waste diversion from landfills, water conservation and improvements to energy efficiency in homes and businesses. CARB says the result is improved public health, a growing economy with more green jobs and better clean energy choices for Californians.

“Now more than ever, the nation – and the world – are looking to California for leadership on climate change and air quality,” said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. “This draft plan builds on California’s decade-long success in transforming the state’s economy.”

Assembly Bill 32, signed in 2006, set California’s initial goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and directed CARB to develop a climate change scoping plan – to be updated every five years – detailing the specific measures needed to reach the target. Today’s draft plan, required by the Governor’s April 2015 Executive Order, updates the previous scoping plan to account for the new 2030 target codified in Senate Bill 32.

The draft plan analyzes continuing the Cap-and-Trade program, which is currently being used to reach the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals. The Cap-and-Trade program funds the California Climate Change Investments program, which provides funds for projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. To date, approximately $3.4 billion has been invested.

To achieve the 2030 goal will require contributions from all sectors of the economy and will include enhanced focus on, among other strategies, zero- and near-zero emission vehicle technologies and a greater use of low-carbon fuels

CARB will release another update to this plan in January 2017 – following a December workshop – which will include detailed economic and environmental. The plan is expected to be finalized for consideration in Spring 2017.

The 2030 Target Scoping Plan Discussion Draft, in full, is available here. Stakeholders and the public are encouraged to submit comments on the 2030 Target Scoping Plan Discussion Draft by December 16, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. PST here.