California Governor orders more stringent GHG reduction target for the state: 40% below 1990 levels by 2030
California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued an executive order (B-30-15) to establish a California greenhouse gas reduction target of 40% below 1990 levels by 2030—the most aggressive GHG reduction target enacted by any government in North America to reduce GHG emissions over the next decade and a half.
Under the order, all state agencies with jurisdiction over sources of greenhouse gas emissions will need to implement measures, pursuant to statutory authority, to achieve reductions of greenhouse gas emissions to meet the 2030 and 2050 greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) will also update the Climate Change Scoping Plan to express the 2030 target in terms of million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.
California is tracking to meet or to exceed the current target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, as established in the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32). California’s new emission reduction target of 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 would enable reaching the ultimate goal of reducing emissions 80% under 1990 levels by 2050.
The executive order also specifically addresses the need for climate adaptation and directs state government to:
Incorporate climate change impacts into the state's Five-Year Infrastructure Plan;
Update the Safeguarding California Plan—the state climate adaption strategy—to identify how climate change will affect California infrastructure and industry and what actions the state can take to reduce the risks posed by climate change;
Factor climate change into state agencies' planning and investment decisions; and
Implement measures under existing agency and departmental authority to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Governor’s executive order aligns California’s greenhouse gas reduction targets with those of leading international governments ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris later this year. The 28-nation European Union, for example, set the same target for 2030 just last October.
In his inaugural address earlier this year, Governor Brown announced that within the next 15 years, California will increase from one-third to 50% its electricity derived from renewable sources; reduce today’s petroleum use in cars and trucks by up to 50%; double the efficiency savings from existing buildings and make heating fuels cleaner; reduce the release of methane, black carbon and other potent pollutants across industries; and manage farm and rangelands, forests and wetlands so they can store carbon.