Nadia Lopez, CALMATTERS
California’s climate change plan fails to provide substantial evidence that capturing carbon will meet ambitious greenhouse gas goals, critics say. The plan “does California a disservice,” one state advisor said.
As California races to prevent the irreversible effects of climate change, some experts are questioning key policies that the state is counting on to meet its ambitious goals and accusing state officials of failing to provide substantial details to back up its claims.
The California Air Resources Board’s proposal, called a scoping plan, outlines policies that would transition the economy away from fossil fuels. The purpose of the plan is to fulfill state mandates to reduce planet-warming emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2045.
In this year’s highly-anticipated climate policy blueprint, some critics say the state agency has not been transparent on how it plans to achieve its goals. The process has left legislators and others at the forefront of the climate discussion confused over the air board staff’s projections.
“The draft scoping plan does California a disservice,” said Danny Cullenward, an economist and vice chair of the Independent Emissions Market Advisory Committee, a group of five experts appointed by the governor and top legislators to assess the effectiveness of the state’s landmark cap and trade program. “It focuses on long-term goals at the expense of near-term action.”
At two recent state committee meetings, environmentalists, academics and climate policy experts who serve on state advisory panels voiced concerns over California’s approach to tackling the climate crisis. They called the plan incomplete, ambiguous and confusing.
Read more at https://calmatters.org/environment/2022/06/california-climate-change-plan-flawed/?utm_id=57747&sfmc_id=3422102
Michael Sainato, THE GUARDIAN
The state pumps millions into methane produced by manure – but advocates argue it increases greenhouse gas emissions and encourages factory farming
A coalition of climate, environmental and animal welfare groups is calling for California to remove the huge subsidies provided to dairy farms to turn animal waste into a form of energy called biogas.
Manure, which emits the potent greenhouse gas methane, is a big problem for US farms, and is particularly stark in California, where the dairy industry accounts for nearly half the state’s methane emissions.
Since 2011, California has been running a policy called the low carbon fuel standard (LCFS), which now includes incentives for dairy farms to convert methane into energy to fuel vehicles by enabling them to sell offset credits. This is intended to be a win-win: reducing farm emissions while allowing fossil fuel companies to mitigate their own greenhouse gas emissions by buying these offsets. The number of anaerobic digesters used to produce the biogas has surged in the state especially among large dairy farms.
But environmental advocates argue that the environmental benefits of biogas are exaggerated, and that the LCFS encourages the expansion of factory farms and could end up increasing emissions and pollution.
In a petition to the California Air Resources Board (Carb), the state government’s clean air agency that runs the LCFS, six environmental groups called for dairy farms to be excluded from the policy. In January, Carb turned down the request but said it would continue to engage with the petitioners.
Read more at https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/feb/04/california-subsidies-biogas-dairy-cows-emissions-climate