In California’s continued push to be a clean energy leader, Governor Jerry Brown signed an executive order to help curb air pollution.
Brown said that California must reduce gas emissions to 40% below what the levels were in 1990 by the year 2030. This is part of an overall goal to reduce emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, a measure set by former Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The Governor’s plan includes three main goals; making buildings more energy efficient, reducing the amount of gas used by vehicles (electric vehicles, hybrids, and overall more efficient vehicles), and promoting more expansion of renewable energy sources.
While the state of California emits a tiny fraction of the world wide greenhouse gases, its influence on the world can not be denied. California is the world’s seventh largest economy and people from around the world are intrigued by much of what happens in the state. Positive environmental action will then have a considerable impact in other parts of the world.
A switch to a more sustainable, clean energy society is well within our reach. Brown mentioned how the American people transformed the country in preparation for World War II. He knows that if we can all work together for a common environmental cause, great things can happen.
California has been a leader in renewable energy, specifically solar power. The state has far more solar capacity than any other. While the state is off to a good start, Brown and other leaders in California know that the pace of solar installations must pick up in speed. In fact, to meet the 2050 goal, emissions must be reduced five times as fast as what is currently happening.
The Governor has received some push back from these goals, of course. Oil companies have stated that the goals are not attainable. The fact remains that we have the technological solutions and they are becoming more and more cost competitive.
The changes that are called for will be disruptive, there’s no doubt about it. The turmoil will eventually subside as clean energy companies slowly replace fossil fuel based companies. Electric vehicles will continue to get cheaper and solar power has already proven itself a winner on cost. An affordable battery storage option is the only thing stopping (temporarily) a full transition to renewables.
We are witnessing the very beginnings of a society that will breathe clean air and be prosperous at the same time.