Photo: Tom Berg

Photo: Tom Berg

The California Air Resources Board has released a Proposed Scoping Plan that sets new goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.

CARB is calling the plan the most ambitious carbon emissions reduction target in North America, building on the state’s current and planned efforts to reduce emissions. The plan outlines the most effective ways to reach the 2030 goal, including a continuation of California’s Cap-and-Trade Program. The plan puts the state on the trajectory of achieving an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

"Climate change is impacting California now, and we need to continue to take bold and effective action to address it head on to protect and improve the quality of life in California,” said Mary D. Nichols, CARB chair. “The plan will help us meet both our climate and our clean air goals in the coming decades and provide billions of dollars in investments to cut greenhouse gasses, smog and toxic pollution in disadvantaged communities throughout the state. It is also designed to continue to drive creative innovation, generating good new jobs in the growing clean technology sector.”

For the transportation sector, the plan seeks to accelerate the use of clean vehicle and equipment technologies and fuels through targeted introduction of zero emission and near-zero emission technologies and renewable fuels. The policy will encourage the use of clean technologies along primary freight corridors.

Examples of some incentives include a separate zero emissions or near-zero emissions freight lane, employing market mechanisms to offer favorable pricing of clean vehicles and developing fuel storage and distribution infrastructure along those freight corridors.

Many of the non- transportation industry related solutions that CARB has proposed involve an increase in public transportation options for residents to reduce the number of vehicular trips needed, and a goal of selling 100% zero emissions light-duty vehicles by 2030.

The proposed plan was developed by CARB staff over the past 18 months, working with various state agencies and departments. The result was guided by legislation and reflects the input from dozens of public workshops and community meetings as well as input from CARB’s Environmental Justice Advisory Committee and other stakeholders.

The first of three public hearings on the proposed plan will be held at the board meeting on Jan. 27.CARB is slated to hold workshops in February and hear and update at the Feb. 16 board meeting. The final 2017 Scoping Plan Update will be released in late March and be considered for approval by the board in late April.