Image source does not exist News Release: 2016-12-02 California Charts Path to Achieve Ambitious 2030 Climate Goals

Release #:16-59a

ARB PIO: (916) 322-2990

Stanley Young
(916) 322.2990

Dave Clegern
(916) 322-2990

California Charts Path to Achieve Ambitious 2030 Climate Goals

SACRAMENTO - Moving to limit the state’s dangerous dependence on oil and exposure to toxic air pollution, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) today released its initial draft plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 – the most ambitious target in North America. The plan builds on the state’s successful efforts to reach its more immediate goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and outlines the most effective ways to reach the new 2030 goal, including continuing California’s Cap-and-Trade program.

California is reducing emissions through a series of actions, innovative solutions and advances in technology, including cleaner, more fuel-efficient cars and zero emission vehicles, low-carbon fuels, renewable energy, Cap-and-Trade regulations, waste diversion from landfills, water conservation and improvements to energy efficiency in homes and businesses. The result is improved public health, a growing economy with more green jobs and better clean energy choices for Californians.

“Now more than ever, the nation – and the world – are looking to California for leadership on climate change and air quality. Denial is not an option. We must plan, invest and transform,” said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. “This draft plan builds on California’s decade-long success in transforming the state’s economy. It sets in place a public process to develop the policies that will create continued opportunities for innovation and investment, benefit disadvantaged communities and ensure California continues to lead the fight against the global threat of climate change.”  

Assembly Bill 32, signed in 2006, set California’s initial goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and directed CARB to develop a climate change scoping plan – to be updated every five years – detailing the specific measures needed to reach the target. Today’s draft plan, required by the Governor’s April 2015 Executive Order, updates the previous scoping plan to account for the new 2030 target codified in Senate Bill 32 and reflects input from 18 public workshops and community meetings, numerous state government agencies and CARB’s Environmental Justice Advisory Committee.

The draft plan analyzes continuing the Cap-and-Trade program, which is currently being used to reach the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals. The analysis shows how Cap-and-Trade provides more certainty that the state will meet the 2030 goals even if other measures fall short. The Cap-and-Trade program funds the California Climate Change Investments program, which provides funds for community, local, regional and statewide projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions – with at least 35 percent of proceeds to be invested in disadvantaged communities.  To date, approximately $3.4 billion has been invested.

The draft plan also includes two alternative strategies – one that relies on more direct regulations, and one that includes a carbon tax.

All of the strategies propose direct greenhouse gas reductions at oil refineries to improve air quality in California, particularly in disadvantaged communities historically located adjacent to these large stationary sources of emissions.

To achieve the 2030 goal – under any scenario – will require contributions from all sectors of the economy and will include enhanced focus on zero- and near-zero emission vehicle technologies; continued investment in renewables, including solar and wind; greater use of low-carbon fuels; integrated land conservation and development strategies; coordinated efforts to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants, which include methane, black carbon and fluorinated gases; an increased focus on integrated land use planning to support livable, transit-connected communities and conservation of agricultural and other lands.

CARB will release another update to this plan in January 2017 – following a December workshop – which will include detailed economic and environmental analyses and document the social cost of carbon, and the range of greenhouse gas, criteria pollutant and toxic pollutant emission reductions from each proposed measure in the plan as required by Assembly Bill 197 – companion legislation to Senate Bill 32. The plan is expected to be finalized for consideration in Spring 2017.

The 2030 Target Scoping Plan Discussion Draft, in full, is available at:

Stakeholders and the public are encouraged to submit comments on the 2030 Target Scoping Plan Discussion Draft by December 16, 2016 at 5:00 PM PST at:

ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.