This page last reviewed September 20, 2016

The Governor's Climate Change Pillars: 2030 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals

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Pillars Fact Sheets:

  • Reducing Emissions of Short-Lived Climate Pollutants
  • Resources for California's Future
  • Pathways to a Low-Carbon Future
  • 50 Percent of the State's Electricity from Renewable Resources by 2030
  • Double Energy Efficiency Savings in Existing Buildings & Develop Cleaner Heating Fuels by 2030
  • Safeguarding California: Reducing Climate Risk
  • Cutting Petroleum Use in Half by 2030

  • Background

    In an effort to further the vision of California's Global Warming Solutions Act (Assembly Bill 32), Governor Brown identified key climate change strategy pillars in his January 2015 inaugural address. The pillars recognize that several major areas of the California economy will need to reduce emissions to meet the 2030 greenhouse gas emissions target. The pillars include (1) reducing today’s petroleum use in cars and trucks by up to 50 percent; (2) increasing from one-third to 50 percent our electricity derived from renewable sources; (3) doubling the energy efficiency savings achieved at existing buildings and making heating fuels cleaner; (4) reducing the release of methane, black carbon, and other short-lived climate pollutants; (5) managing farm and rangelands, forests and wetlands so they can store carbon; and (6) periodically updating the state's climate adaptation strategy: Safeguarding California.


    Click on the pillars below to view more information.
    50% Renewable Electricity
    California has long been a leader in the development of renewable electricity, as well as improving efficiency in the energy sector. Because of the significant GHG emissions from the energy sector, addressing both of these areas is critical in order to achieve California's climate goals.

    In his inaugural address, Governor Brown announced that by 2030, California will increase from one-third to 50 percent of our electricity derived from renewable sources.

    Additional information on state programs to increase energy efficiency and renewables can be found here.
    50% Reduction in Petroleum Use in Vehicles
    The transportation sector is integral to the people and economy of California. To achieve GHG emission reduction goals, it is vital that we build on our past successes in reducing criteria and toxic air pollutants from transportation and goods movement activities. GHG emission reductions will come from cleaner vehicle technologies, lower-carbon fuels, and reduction of vehicle miles traveled.

    One of Governor Brown's key pillars sets the ambitious goal of reducing today's petroleum use in cars and trucks by up to 50 percent by 2030. Additional information on ARB's programs to cut petroleum in the transportation sector can be found here.
    Double Energy Efficiency Savings at Existing Buildings
    Because buildings represent one of the largest sources of GHG emissions in California, the Green Buildings effort affords numerous ways to address environmental goals while lowering GHG emissions. Green buildings offer a cost effective way to limit the use of energy, water and waste in residential and commercial buildings.

    In his inaugural address, Governor Brown announced that by 2030, California will double the energy efficiency savings from its existing buildings, and make heating fuels cleaner.

    Information on ARB's programs to promote green buildings and their efficiency can be found here.
    Carbon Sequestration in the Land Base (Natural and Working Lands)
    In his 2015 inaugural address, Governor Brown called for support to manage natural and working lands, including forests, rangelands, farms, wetlands, and soils, so they can store carbon. These lands have the ability to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through biological processes, and to then sequester carbon in above and below-ground matter. Click to visit ARB's Natural and Working Lands Sector page.

    Additional information on ARB's programs to increase carbon storage in natural and working lands can be found here.
    Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants
    Short-lived climate pollutants are powerful climate forcers that remain in the atmosphere for a much shorter period of time than longer-lived climate pollutants, such as carbon dioxide (CO2). Their relative potency, when measured in terms of how they heat the atmosphere, can be tens, hundreds, or even thousands of times greater than that of CO2. Short-lived climate pollutants include three main components: Black Carbon, Fluorinated Gases, and Methane. For more information about short-lived climate pollutants, see ARB's webpage on Reducing Short-Lived Climate Pollutants in California.

    Governor Brown signed SB 605 (Lara, Chapter 523, Statutes of 2014) directing ARB to develop a comprehensive short-lived climate pollutant strategy by January 1, 2016. The effort will engage scientific experts, identify additional measures to reduce short-lived climate pollutants, and will build upon California’s leading commitments to reduce greenhouse gases and air pollution.

    Additional information on ARB's programs to reduce short-lived climate pollutants can be found here.
    Safeguard California
    The Safeguarding California Plan is California's climate change adaptation strategy. Amidst wildfires, droughts, and other climate change pressures, confronting climate change over the coming decades will require unprecedented collaboration across state government and involve nearly every aspect of the state’s planning and investments. The Safeguarding California Plan provides guidance for state and local decision makers in their efforts to prepare for climate-related risks and minimize economic losses.

    Governor Brown's executive order specifically addresses the need for climate adaptation and directs state government to update the Safeguarding California Plan to identify how climate change will affect California infrastructure and industry and what actions the state can take to reduce the risks posed by climate change. In addition, the California Natural Resources Agency shall update the Safeguarding California Plan every three years.

    Additional information on Safeguarding California can be found here.

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    Climate Change Program

    Johnnie Raymond

    at (916) 445-8279

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    Stanley Young

    at (916) 322-2990

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