Governor Jerry Brown's new ambitious pollution reduction target sends a clear signal to businesses, entrepreneurs, and the American public that California will continue to lead the nation in fighting climate change. Governor Brown's Executive Order established a California greenhouse gas reduction target of 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 -- the most aggressive benchmark enacted by any government in North America to reduce carbon emissions responsible for climate change.
He has also outlined specific goals to help reach the 2030 target, including calls for state agencies to account for climate change within their planning and infrastructure investment decisions. It is critical that California's elected officials, policy leaders, and communities work closely with Governor Brown to take strategic action to advance climate solutions that will improve the preparedness and safety of our communities, families, and economy.
Kudos to Governor Brown for setting the course and leading by example in addressing the growing threat and effects of climate change on the public health and well-being, natural resources, environment, and economy of Californians and all Americans.
California has already adopted some of the world's most aggressive policies to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Now Gov. Jerry Brown has raised the bar even higher — setting a new, more ambitious target to reduce the pollutants that are responsible for climate change. On Wednesday, he issued an executive order calling for the state to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030, matching a target set by the European Union last year.
The directive puts California way ahead of other states and the federal government. Last fall, President Obama committed to cutting the nation's greenhouse gas emissions to about 27% below 2005 levels by 2025, but even that more modest goal is unlikely to win the support of conservative Republicans, who see the battle against climate change as a costly and unnecessary war on cheap and plentiful energy.
Brown faces similar though less vociferous opposition. He argues that California can prove — and has proved — that reducing carbon doesn't have to be an obstacle to a strong, growing economy. That's mostly true. The state is on track to meet the ambitious targets established in 2006 by AB 32, the landmark bill to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Moving to more renewable energy and less use of fossil fuels has not tanked the state's economy or overwhelmed residents with costly price increases.
State officials need to be smart about the regulations they adopt and honest about the challenges.
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