Saturday, September 10, 2016

California Takes an Unprecedented Stand Against Climate Change

The state is extending its ambitious goals for slashing greenhouse gas emissions.

Turning Back the Clock: California is nearing its goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. (Credit: MIT Technology Review) Click to Enlarge.
California is extending its plan to drastically cut carbon emissions for another 10 years under a pair of bills signed by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Thursday, marking a major step forward in the fight against climate change.

The new legislation will significantly ramp up the state’s existing efforts to reduce emissions, including increasing the state’s reliance on solar power, offering rebates for electric cars and placing stronger regulations on businesses. 

SB 32, authored by state Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), extends a 2006 law that required the state to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.  (California is currently on track to meet that goal.)  Under the new legislation, California must reduce emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

AB 197, written by Assembly member Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella), establishes a new legislative committee to oversee environmental regulation, giving lawmakers more say in efforts to improve air quality and reduce pollution. 

The new goals are the most ambitious of any U.S. state.  And given the sheer scale of it ― California’s economy is now the world’s sixth largest ― the law could also serve as a model for international efforts to reduce emissions.

Read more at California Takes an Unprecedented Stand Against Climate Change

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