SCVNews.com | The Air Resources Council has issued an ambitious plan to reduce fossil fuel use

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SACRAMENTO – The California Air Resources Council today released a draft plan that will ultimately drive the state’s transition to clean energy, drastically reduce fossil fuel use, achieve carbon neutrality by 2045 or earlier, and significantly clean state air, especially in disadvantaged communities. , disproportionately burdened by constant pollution.

The draft 2022 Climate Change Coverage Plan is the third update to the state’s original 2008 plan. It identifies a technologically feasible, cost-effective and equity-oriented path to carbon neutrality over the next two decades, and assesses the state’s progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

The release of the draft plan launches a formal 45-day period of public discussion. During the 45-day public consultation period, the Advisory Committee on Environmental Justice may make an additional contribution to the draft plan. The Board will review the plan in June and may then instruct staff with an additional period of public comment and attendance before the second meeting of the Board in the fall to consider adopting a final draft plan.

“The draft volume plan sets out an ambitious vision that promotes justice and addresses the existential crisis of our generation, with guidance on concrete steps and actions needed to make it work,” said Richard Corey, executive director of the Air Resources Council. “When finalized, it will serve as a workable plan for a more sustainable California for our children and a model for other industrialized economies around the world as they consider how to transition to a clean energy economy that delivers health benefits and economic opportunities. ”

California is the fifth largest economy on the planet, and the draft plan covers every sector. The most important aspect of the draft plan is the aggressive pace and scale it requires to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels wherever they are currently used in California. It achieves this goal by building on and accelerating successful approaches to carbon reduction, including rules, incentives and carbon prices that have been in place for a decade and a half. At the heart of this shift from fossil fuels is the accelerated transition to zero-emission transport, the phasing out of fossil gas used to heat homes and buildings, and the provision of communities with sustainable options for walking, cycling and public transport. rely on machines. Actions in the transport sector will be reinforced by accelerating the addition of cleaner, more affordable and reliable renewable energy to displace fossil fuel power generation and expand new options such as hydrogen and renewable gas for end-uses that are difficult to electrify.

This accelerated transition from oil will make California more energy-safe, less prone to volatile global oil prices, and bring significant health benefits to all Californians, especially those living in low-income color communities who are most affected by air pollution. from trucks. and road traffic and cargo delivery.

Achieving California’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2045 or earlier will also require a review of forests, farmland, and hunting grounds to ensure that they play as much of a role as possible in reducing emissions and incorporating and storing more carbon. This emphasis will create healthier forests, more resilient to forest fires, and increase health benefits by reducing exposure to forest fire smoke. The plan also shows that in order to balance carbon sequestration with carbon sequestration, California will need to go beyond natural and arable land and deploy additional carbon capture techniques that include extracting it from industrial chimneys or extracting it. from the atmosphere itself and then safely and permanently store it.

These efforts prioritize ensuring that all these efforts benefit the settlements on the front line that are most burdened by ongoing pollution and that will disproportionately affect the warming planet.

The draft climate change coverage plan for 2022 was developed by the Air Resources Council in an unprecedented process of cooperation and coordination with several government agencies. Such broad coordination lays the foundation for a whole state approach to future implementation. The development of the plan also involved active public involvement, including more than a dozen seminars, webinars or public meetings over the past year.

In addition, the draft plan was based on the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Environmental Justice to ensure that environmental justice and frontline communities play a key role in the state’s efforts to address the climate emergency. The EJAC has held 18 meetings, and the draft plan has about five dozen committee recommendations. Ongoing collaboration with EJAC will be essential to ensure that the final plan is as reliable as possible.

The draft Volume Plan assesses four possible scenarios for achieving carbon neutrality, all of which will also achieve the 2030 target of reducing GHG emissions by 40% below 1990 levels. Two of these scenarios will achieve carbon neutrality by 2035; the other two by 2045. Through extensive modeling to determine the future policy implications for health and the economy, the Air Resources Council concluded that Scenario 3 provides the most economically and technologically feasible path to carbon neutrality, including equity-based solutions focused on accessibility and job conservation. Scenario 3 is aligned with all relevant statutes and executive orders, while deploying a broad portfolio of existing and new alternatives to fossil fuels and clean technologies. It also provides possible timeframes for infrastructure development and necessary technologies, especially the rapid build-up of renewable energy and lower overall implementation costs with minimal impact on the economy. This will reduce oil use by about 90% by 2045 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, which is another government task.

The draft volume plan also addresses California’s existing climate programs, such as the low-carbon fuel standard, the restriction and trade, and the renewable energy portfolio standard, among others. The draft plan explains how these programs have changed since the last coverage plan in 2017, and describes other programs and actions needed to achieve a low-carbon economy.

To view the draft volume plan Click here.

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