Governor Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown, Jr.
State Capitol, 1st Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: Doubling the rate of greenhouse gas reductions by 2030
Dear Governor Brown,
We appreciate your steady leadership over the decades as California continues to forge a clean energy model for our country and the world. But, as you have said, we have miles to go before we sleep. More steps are needed if California hopes to continue its leadership as a model for a global green transition.
We call on you now to double California's pace of eliminating deadly greenhouse gas emissions by the target year of 2030. That means a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 50-60% over the next 15 years. That goal is consistent with the hope of stabilizing atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions at 450 ppm carbon dioxide equivalent and greenhouse gas reductions of 80% by 2050 set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It is both feasible and necessary if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
California, in the Global Warming Solutions Act, already has set, and is on track to achieve, a goal of reducing greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by 2020. Our current California Air Resources Board Scoping Plan states “Achieving the low-carbon future will require that the pace of GHG emission reductions accelerate significantly. Emissions from 2020 to 2050 will have to decline several times faster than the rate needed to reach the 2020 emissions limit.” While a doubling of the 2020 goal will seem too aggressive to some, as conditions worsen the goal may well seem too modest. The Environmental Justice Advisory Committee to the Scoping Plan suggests the feasibility of aspiring to a 100% renewable future, a goal we hope you will embrace.
To summarize, we are proposing:
- Doubling the rate of greenhouse gas reductions to 50-60% by 2030
- Staying on track to achieve the IPCC goal of 80% by 2050
- Projecting a future vision of California as a 100% renewable energy state
- Promoting California and its allies as a climate change model in 2015
With a 2030 commitment in place, investor confidence will continue in the development of renewable energy, energy efficiency, storage, smart buildings and demand response. Doubling the investment in renewable energy requires a long lead time for deploying new electric generation and demands a goal to drive a policy framework that will continue steady progress.
The doomsday prophets of the fossil fuel industry have been proven wrong for decades as California progresses towards a renewable future with a growing clean energy economy, consumer savings, and improvements in the air we all breathe. California is a model for US federal policy and is linked by collaboration with many cities, states and foreign nations. Forty years of history shows that only if California leads will the United States follow. It is imperative to create a California model on the challenging road to the next global climate negotiations in 2015. We believe the vision of an eventual 100% renewable resource future will inspire this generation to take whatever steps are needed to save our planet.
If California sets the bar too low for 2030 and beyond, the pace of transition nationally and globally will slow. If California leads, based on responsible science and visionary politics, hope for the country and world will brighten. California should double its greenhouse gas reductions goal for 2030.
V. John White Tom Hayden
Legislative Director, Clean Power Campaign Editor, The Democracy Journal
Dan Jacobson Anne Baker
Legislative Director, Environment California Senior Policy Advisor, CEERT