Posted on Categories Climate Change & EnergyTags , , , , ,

Climate controversy: California’s plan for handling crisis is flawed, advisors say


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.


Posted on Categories Climate Change & EnergyTags , , ,

Groundbreaking bill would require large companies to track carbon emissions

Molly Peterson, KQED

Large companies doing business in California would have to inventory their carbon emissions and set science-based targets for cutting them, under legislation introduced at the state capitol Wednesday.

“If you want to do business in California, the public has a right to know what your carbon footprint is,” says state Sen. Scott Wiener, a San Francisco Democrat. “Climate change is an existential threat for our world, and we are nearing a tipping point where we’re not going to be able to pull back.”

The Climate Corporate Accountability Act, or SB 260, would apply to all companies making more than a billion dollars a year and doing business in California, regardless of where the company has headquarters. It would require these businesses to disclose a thorough inventory of their carbon emissions each year. That kind of deep accounting would include:

  • Direct emissions, such as burning fossil fuels at a refinery, or emissions from trucks and planes at a freight company;
  • Indirect emissions, caused by, for example, the electricity used to keep lights on in a building; and
  • Harder-to-measure secondary emissions, including the carbon footprint of business travel and employee commutes, and emissions produced in the company’s supply chain.

If the legislation passes, the California Air Resources Board would develop accounting rules giving major corporations three years to be transparent about their climate impacts, and one more year to take action. Companies would then report their carbon inventories annually.

Read more at: