Alicia Chang, ASSOCIATED PRESS
A decade ago, California vowed to dramatically slash greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.With the nation’s most populous state on pace to meet that target, Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday charted a new goal to further cut carbon pollution by extending and expanding the landmark climate change law.
It will “keep California on the move to clean up the environment,” Brown said in a Los Angeles park before signing a pair of bills that survived heavy opposition from the oil industry, business groups and Republicans.
Experts said going forward will be more challenging because the new goal — to reduce emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 — is considerably more ambitious and many of the easy solutions have been employed.
“The long and the short of it is that meeting the goal will require sustained regulatory effort across all sectors of the economy,” said Ann Carlson, a professor of environmental law at the University of California, Los Angeles.
California is on track to meet the 2020 climate goal that called for reducing emissions to 1990 levels by restricting the carbon content of gasoline and diesel fuel, encouraging sales of zero-emission vehicles and imposing a tax on pollution.
The state plans to build on that foundation and ramp up other efforts including increasing renewable electricity use, boosting energy efficiency in existing buildings and putting 1.5 million zero-emissions vehicles on the road, according to the California Air Resources Board, which is in charge of climate policy.