Cutting pollution by 2030, 2050, and beyond
By Kristin Retter on Monday, May 11th, 2015
California continues to build on the momentum they created with the passage of AB 32 as the state looks ahead to 2030 and beyond.
On Wednesday, April 29th, California Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order mandating that 2030 emission levels will be 40% below 1990 emission levels. This aggressive benchmark establishes an important interim standard that will help California meet the 2050 goal of an 80% reduction in emissions below 1990 levels. The state is currently on track to meet the 2020 goal established by AB 32 of reducing emissions to equal 1990 levels, which is being achieved in part through the use of cap-and-trade, the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, an increased use in plug-in and battery electric vehicles, and increased public transportation options.
California State Senators Kevin de Leon and Mark Leno are the authors of SB 350, a bill that passed the Environmental Quality committee on April 29th and would create the Golden State Standards 50-50-50. SB 350 will increase the renewable portfolio standard to 50% renewable energy, decrease the use of oil for transportation by 50%, and increase building efficiency 50% by the year 2030. This bill will help meet emissions reduction goals mandated by the governor and hopefully reduce the carbon dioxide levels from the current 400 parts per million down to 350 parts per million, the critical level above which climate change is no longer pending, but inevitable.
This early, ambitious action to meet the 2050 emissions standards is much better for the California economy than a more gradual approach would be according to a new study published by Next 10. SB 350 and the 2030 executive order could generate about one million more jobs and increase Gross State Product by $338 billion by 2050, while decreasing global warming pollution, providing clean air, decreasing dependence on oil, and strengthening the renewable energy market. Both the Governors’ executive order and SB 350 are important efforts that will work together to make sure California remains a global leader in addressing global climate change.