California’s 2030 Climate Vision – Part I

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California is the leading state in clean energy and green tech in the United States. Rigorous steps through various laws and regulations have been taken to achieve a sustainable future. The first significant step was AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. It was the first program in the nation that takes a long term approach by requiring a sharp reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while maintaining a robust economy.

AB 32 was followed by several bills and programs, which were established to further improve sustainability efforts in California. California Air Resources Board (CARB) recently announced the new Climate Change Scoping Plan, namely “The Strategy for Achieving California’s 2030 Greenhouse Gas Target (Plan)”, that aims to take the emission goals further. The application of the scoping plan is projected to result in further reduction in GHG emissions, enhance the clean energy economy that will provide more opportunities for Californians, give way to a more healthy and equitable society by reducing pollution and increasing better jobs.

One may ask why California is so eager to strengthen the GHG regulations. The reason is the escalating effect of climate change. Despite endless arguments, it is now obviously evident that climate is changing. California had the deadliest wildfires this year. Moreover, coastal erosion, water supply problems and agriculture threats in addition to health problems related to air pollution are other major concerns of the worsening climate change. According to the plan, the last drought in California cost the agriculture in Central Valley an estimated $2.7 billion, and more than 20,000 jobs. This is what a small change in average temperature has done so far; further increase is predicted to make these more frequent, more catastrophic and more costly. While climate change impacts are borne by everyone, the greater proportion is cast upon the region most disadvantaged populations.

I think it is important to highlight that increase in clean energy applications create many new jobs, which can strengthen the economy and give better employment opportunities to many workers. According to the plan, the renewable energy projects in San Joaquin Valley generated more than 11.6 billion in economic activity from 2002 to 2015 through 31,000 direct and 57,000 indirect jobs.

The scoping plan has ambitious goals with higher minimums that should be met across a wide range of fields including cleaner transportation, energy, building efficiency and etc. You can find the goals of the plan for the sectors briefly described in the Part II of this blog (next post). Given the potential threats mentioned above and what is going on in the world, a more stringent plan that is well constructed to sustain and enhance a strong economy is very much needed today.

Thank you for reading, you can continue reading about the target reductions across the sectors in Part II!


Published on August 7th, 2018

Last updated on April 1st, 2021