January 5, 2015

California Governor Announces New Goals to Substantially Lower Carbon Emissions by 2030

Statement by Adrienne Alvord, California and Western States Director at the Union of Concerned Scientists

OAKLAND, Calif. (January 5, 2015) — California Gov. Jerry Brown, in an inaugural address marking a historic fourth term, praised the state’s current efforts to reduce carbon pollution but said they must go even further “if we are to have any chance of stopping potentially catastrophic changes to our climate system.”

“The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, backed up by the vast majority of the world’s scientists, has set an ambitious goal of limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius by the year 2050 through drastic reductions of greenhouse gases,” said Gov. Brown. “If we have any chance at all of achieving that, California, as it does in many areas, must show the way. We must demonstrate that reducing carbon is compatible with an abundant economy and human well-being.”

Gov. Brown proposed three goals to accomplish over the next 15 years:

  • Increase from one-third to 50 percent our electricity derived from renewable sources;
  • Reduce today’s petroleum use in cars and trucks by up to 50 percent;
  • Double the efficiency of existing buildings and make heating fuels cleaner.

Below is a statement from Adrienne Alvord, UCS California and Western States Director:

“The Union of Concerned Scientists applauds Gov. Jerry Brown for setting more ambitious and longer-term goals for fighting carbon pollution by making California’s electrical grid, transportation system and buildings more reliant on clean sources of energy.

“California’s leadership in showing how investment and innovation can drive a successful, low-carbon economy has never been more timely as countries all over the world negotiate an agreement this year to reduce greenhouse gases that are driving dangerous climate changes.

“The governor’s commitment to cut oil use in half by 2030 is consistent with UCS’s Half the Oil plan and we will continue working closely with the Brown Administration to accomplish this bold, necessary and achievable goal.”

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with people across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.