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
Daniel Kammen, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Ten years ago, many Californians could not have imagined the climate nightmare we are living today — dark orange skies during wildfire season, heat waves in the dead of winter, mandatory water restrictions amid crippling drought.
Without urgent action, we may well look back on this moment as the calm before the storm. Over the course of the next decade, California’s biggest climate challenges — hotter summers, a shorter rainy season and more destructive wildfires — could double in intensity.
It’s against this backdrop that the California Air Resources Board last week released a draft of our state’s scoping plan, a blueprint for combating climate change that will guide California’s policy for years. Despite the stakes for Californians, and although my research indicates the state could actually become carbon negative by 2030, the draft proposal would delay reaching carbon neutral until 2045. The barriers to a target of 2030 are political, not technical.
The draft plan calls for investment in new fossil fuel electricity resources, and it relies on unproven and costly carbon capture technologies that would lock in fossil fuel pollution. Adopting this approach would be lazy, nonsensical and racially unjust. During the current 45-day period for public review of the plan, California has the chance to choose a smarter path.
Renewable energy, even when coupled with energy storage, is cheaper than fossil fuels. California’s own state laws say that renewable energy must be prioritized before building out expensive and polluting gas power plants. Instead, California must set ambitious targets that immediately cut pollution through no-regrets strategies.
Read more at https://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/opinion/kammen-california-can-do-better-than-carbon-neutrality-by-2045/