The California Air Resources Board (ARB), a division of the state’s Environmental Protection Agency, has released a proposal to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
However, a report from the Dominican University of California says that the state’s approach doesn’t go far enough.
The plan, which will go before the board for approval in December, is a central part of the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 that California is just starting to implement.
The plan includes expanded energy efficiency programmes, an emissions cap-and-trade programme, increased renewable energy generation, water efficiency measures and clean car and fuel standards. Other initiatives span the promotion of sustainable and ‘green’ communities, high-speed rail links and strategies to develop a ‘green’ workforce.
“Our comprehensive approach steers California away from its dependence on fossil fuels and accelerates the state’s necessary transition toward a clean-energy future,” says ARB chair Mary Nichols.
But a report from the Dominican University of California’s School of Business and Leadership says that California needs a more comprehensive ‘green’ plan of the sort being implemented in the European Union, the Netherlands and New Zealand.
A California Green Plan: Making the Case for Business highlights, for example, that four entities in California are responsible for different aspects of waste management, while responsibility for water is split between two programmes. This split responsibility is hampering the state’s environmental efforts, says the report.
“A comprehensive, large-scale, and committed approach to solving environmental, health, and economic issues is the way to make progress,” says Sarah Diefendorf of the Environmental Finance Center and advisor on the report.
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16 October 2008