California set a record for greenhouse gas reductions in 2020, but it means nothing without climate action
The federal Clean Power Plan is poised to be far more effective than it ever was, as the Trump administration, led by the EPA, looks to undo the policies that were put into place to help the planet and the economy.
The federal Clean Power Plan, introduced by former Vice President Al Gore, is all about saving a planet and protecting our climate. The plan requires states and cities to take on massive amounts of greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the worst-case scenarios, like an all-out climate crisis.
The plan is already working. The Trump administration’s proposed EPA rollback will cause an immediate increase in the U.S. carbon dioxide emissions.
California is leading the way on climate action. Through a combination of laws, tax incentives, and other strategies, the state has already reduced its emissions to near-record lows.
California Set a New Record for Greenhouse Gas Emissions
In December 2016, California set a record for its greenhouse gas reductions and avoided damage costs from climate-linked events.
In 2015, the state reduced its emissions of carbon dioxide by 20 percent to 45 percent below 1990 levels.
California is not the only state or organization set to do this, but it is definitely among the first.
So how did California pull off such a huge reduction?
To begin with, California took a different approach to addressing its pollution. In fact, some call this the “California way”: You reduce, and then we get the emissions back if we take steps to keep it.
The state has done this in various ways: by instituting a cap-and-trade program, setting aside forests, and establishing air quality standards.
One thing that California did not do was create the framework for a federal climate policy.
The state has decided to take care of itself at a federal level, and has chosen to build an economy based on green energy.
In California, we have worked hard to make sure our businesses are not only profitable but also that they are also creating green jobs.
The state’s policies have contributed to a 30 percent reduction in the electricity used