California lawmakers pass raft of climate bills

Published 23:18 on June 3, 2015  /  Last updated at 23:19 on June 3, 2015  /  Americas, US  /  Comments Off on California lawmakers pass raft of climate bills

The California senate passed two bills on Wednesday aimed at significantly reducing statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while the state’s lower house approved a measure that would eliminate the 2020 limit on the state’s cap-and-trade market.

The California senate passed two bills on Wednesday aimed at significantly reducing statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while the state’s lower house approved a measure that would eliminate the 2020 limit on the state’s cap-and-trade market.

One bill approved was SB32, which requires the state to reduce GHG emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.

Earlier this week it was amended to include a provision for a 40% reduction by 2030, giving legal weight to an executive order issued by governor Jerry Brown earlier this year.

Senators also passed SB350, a bill mandating that state’s electricity providers to generate 50% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2030, building on the current standard of 33% by 2020.

It also requires the state to halve its petroleum consumption by 2030, while at the same time doubling the energy efficiency of buildings.

Both senate bills will go before the state assembly for an additional vote before being sent to the governor for final approval.

For its part, the California assembly today approved AB1288, which lifts the 2020 sunset provision on the state’s cap-and-trade program, launched in 2013.

The change would effectively authorise the California Air Resources Board to operate the market indefinitely as an additional mechanism to help the state meet its emissions reduction goals.

“To continue to give certainty to the market and the business world is what this bill particularly does,” assembly speaker Toni Atkins said following the vote, according to the Sacramento Bee.

The assembly bill now advances to the senate.

By Robert Mullin – news@carbon-pulse.com