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California air quality officials released a bold climate plan Wednesday that outlines in broad strokes how the state intends to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the decade and eventually eliminate its carbon footprint.
The so-called scoping plan released by the California Air Resources Board reflects Gov. Gavin Newsom’s accelerated goal of curtailing planet-warming emissions by 48% (compared to 1990 levels) this decade. State law requires that California’s emissions be reduced at least 40% by 2030 and 85% by 2045 — at which point any emissions from human activity would be offset by natural ecosystems and other solutions.
After months of public meetings and policymaker discussions, this finalized plan gives the clearest picture yet as to how the world’s fourth-largest economy can meet its ambitious climate targets while maintaining economic growth and accommodating a larger population.
By 2045, the plan envisions a thirtyfold increase in zero-emission vehicles and four times the amount of power generation from wind and solar energy. It involves consumer demand for petroleum and natural gas dropping 86% in the next 23 years.