California Proposes Plan to Further Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
California’s effort to fight climate change took another step forward as the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released the proposed 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 reduce emissions and outlines the most effective ways to reach the 2030 goal.
Achieving the 2030 target under the proposed plan will continue to build on investments in clean energy and set the California economy on a trajectory to achieving an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This is consistent with the scientific consensus of the scale of emission reductions needed to stabilize atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations at 450 parts per million carbon dioxide equivalent, and reduce the likelihood of catastrophic climate change.
“Climate change is impacting California now, and we need to continue to take bold and effective action to address it head on to protect and improve the quality of life in California,” said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. “The plan will help us meet both our climate and our clean air goals in the coming decades and provide billions of dollars in investments to cut greenhouse gases, smog and toxic pollution in disadvantaged communities throughout the state. It is also designed to continue to drive creative innovation, generating good new jobs in the growing clean technology sector.”
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 specific measures needed to reach the target. Today’s proposed 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.
Of significance to the NGV industry, CARB has stated achieving the 2030 goal will require contributions from the transportation sector with an enhanced focus on zero- and near-zero emission vehicle technologies and the greater use of low-carbon fuels.
The first of three public hearings on the proposed plan will be held at the regularly scheduled Board meeting on January 27. The California Air Resources Board is slated to hold workshops in February and hear an update at the February 16 Board meeting. The Final 2017 Scoping Plan Update will be released in late March and be considered for approval by the Board in late April.
The full text of “The 2017 Scoping Plan Update: The Proposed Plan for Achieving California’s 2030 Greenhouse Gas Target” is available here. Stakeholders and the public are encouraged to submit comments by 5:00 p.m. PST on March 6, 2017.