California Releases Initial Plan to Achieve Ambitious 2030 Climate Goals

By California State Air Resources Board.

SACRAMENTO - Moving to limit the state’s dangerous dependence on oil and exposure to toxic 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 continuing California’s Cap-and-Trade program.

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. 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. Denial is not an option. We must plan, invest and transform,” said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. “This draft plan builds on California’s decade-long success in transforming the state’s economy. It sets in place a public process to develop the policies that will create continued opportunities for innovation and investment, benefit disadvantaged communities and ensure California continues to lead the fight against the global threat of climate change.”  

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 and reflects input from 18 public workshops and community meetings, numerous state government agencies and CARB’s Environmental Justice Advisory Committee. 

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 analysis shows how Cap-and-Trade provides more certainty that the state will meet the 2030 goals even if other measures fall short. The Cap-and-Trade program funds the California Climate Change Investments program, which provides funds for community, local, regional and statewide projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions – with at least 35 percent of proceeds to be invested in disadvantaged communities.  To date, approximately $3.4 billion has been invested.