California is leading the nation in developing a comprehensive set of solutions to reduce global warming pollution in the state. The foundation for the state’s pollution-fighting activities is a 2006 law, the California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32), which called for reducing the state’s global warming emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. This law has catalyzed significant cuts in global warming pollution, while the California economy has grown to sixth largest in the world.
In 2016, the state adopted new targets (SB 32) to reduce emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.
To help meet that goal, California is implementing numerous measures, including standards for renewable energy, a policy to scale up the use of clean fuels, requirements and incentives to increase the use of electric vehicles, and a flexible market-based cap on carbon emissions that creates economic incentives for major carbon polluters to cut their emissions. Furthermore, UCS analysis has found that California’s climate policies are saving consumers money.
California must continue to lead the way in addressing the risks of a warming climate. In 2015, UCS helped California pass a law (SB 350) that requires half of California’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030. We’re now focused on implementing the mandates set out under SB 32, as well as implementing the state’s cap-and-trade and air pollution laws. We’re also advancing climate-smart infrastructure that can withstand the impacts of climate change and keep our communities safe and resilient.
Crucially, we’re also working with partners to ensure equity and justice underline all our efforts to curb carbon pollution.
The West Coast—including Oregon and Washington—is fast-becoming a testing ground for innovative, effective climate policy. Considering the range and severity of climate impacts, it’s a leadership role desperately called for by the rest of the nation—and by the world.