California is adding leadership in the fight against global climate change to its worldwide resume. As historic drought ravages the state, that seems like a rational and righteous priority.
The centerpiece of that effort is AB 32, the 2006 state law that set the goal of reducing the state’s carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
Now with that target in reach, state policymakers are upping the ante: If enacted, SB 32, introduced by Sen. Fran Pavley, would mandate the state to reduce CO2e emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. (The state measures carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases attributed to human activity as CO2 equivalents or CO2e). That’s a much bigger requirement that may be impossible to achieve without substantial advances in technology, economic dislocation or both.
Still, the senator has provided Californians a great opportunity to reaffirm our values and set audacious goals.
As Californians, we want to lead the world. Not just the West, or the United States, but we want to compete with and model progress to our trading partners to the north and south, and across the Pacific Ocean in Asia.