California Agency Outlines Plan to Fight Global Warming

California Coast

photo by photoreb via flickr

The California Air Resources Board announced today that they have developed a plan which will reduce the state's greenhouse gas emissions by 30%, from projected levels by 2020 or about 10% from today's levels.

The report estimates that this means reducing state average individual carbon emissions from 14 tons per year to 10 tons per year. The long range goal of this plan is to reduce emissions by 80% of 1990 levels by 2050.

"Blazing a trail" for a more sustainable future
In the words of CARB chairman Mary Nichols, The Climate Change Draft Scoping Plan shows that, "California is once again blazing a trail to lead other states and the nation to a cleaner, more sustainable future, energy independence and a healthier environment."

Cap and Trade in forefront
According to CARB, central to the plan is a cap and trade program covering 85% of the state's emissions. The plan also calls for utilities to produce a third of their energy from renewable sources, as well as to expand energy efficiency programs, and building and appliance efficiency standards. Furthermore, the plan calls for full implementation of the California Clean Car law to get more fuel efficient cars on the road.

Additionally, improvements in urban planning to make California cities "more livable, walkable cities, and [to] shorten commutes" are called for.

Public comment encouraged
The Air Resource Board invites public comment on the Draft Plan, before a final draft is prepared for consideration in November. Once this is approved the plan will still have to go through the regulatory process before being implemented.

It may take two years, and who knows how much it will get changed, watered-down, or improved in that time, but California has taken a bold step with this one.

:: California Air Resources Board
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