California's Greenhouse Gas Cuts
HandelontheLaw.com Staff Writer
In late April 2015, California’s Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order for the nation’s toughest greenhouse gas emissions standards. The new standards call for cutting gas emission 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. These new standards mirror European Union standards for a 40% reduction by 2030.
Even California’s old emissions standards exceeded federal targets of reducing emissions 26 – 28% below 2005 levels by 2025; however, California will lead the nation in even more stringent standards, with 2030 targets expected to propel California’s emission standards to 80% by 2050.
The Governor noted that California is already experiencing some consequences of climate change, including “loss of snowpack, drought, sea level rise, more frequent and intense wildfires, heat waves, more severe smog, and harm to natural and working lands.”
Governor Brown stressed, “With this order, California sets a very high bar for itself and other states and nations, but it's one that must be reached -- for this generation and generations to come.”
The strong standards are applauded by many environmental organizations, including the West Coast offices of the Environmental Defense Fund. The Environmental Defense Fund is an organization of 500+ experts in business, economics, climate, oceans, ecosystems, health, energy and transportation who “tackle tough environmental challenges in innovative ways.” The EDF web site can be accessed here: http://www.edf.org/
By Kathy Catanzarite
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