Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order Wednesday dramatically ramping up this state’s already ambitious program aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions, saying it was critical to address what he called “an ever-growing threat” posed by global warming to the state’s economy and well-being.
Under Mr. Brown’s order, emissions would have to be reduced by 40 percent over 1990 levels by 2030. Under existing state law, emissions are supposed to be cut back by 80 percent over 1990 levels by 2050, and Mr. Brown said this tough new interim target was essential to helping the state make investment and regulatory decisions that will assure that goal is reached.
Mr. Brown’s order marks an aggressive turn in what had already been among the toughest programs in the nation aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Under the law put into place by Mr. Brown’s predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the state was required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 on the way to reach the 2050 target; California is already well on its way to meeting the 2020 goal, and may exceed it, officials said Wednesday.
“With this order, California sets a very high bar for itself and other states and nations, but it’s one that must be reached — for this generation and generations to come,” Mr. Brown said.
The order is the latest effort by Mr. Brown to position California as a leading force in the world’s effort to address climate change. In his State of the State address in January, the governor called for reducing gas consumption by cars and trucks by up to 50 percent over the next 15 years.