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California Voted To Approve Plan For Carbon Neutrality Roadmap By 2045

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California Voted To Approve Plans For Carbon Neutrality Roadmap By 2045

(CTN NEWS) – SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California air regulators approved a plan Thursday to reduce reliance on fossil fuels by changing energy, transportation, and agriculture practices.

But critics say it doesn’t go far enough to tackle climate change.

The state will remove as much carbon from the environment as it emits by 2045, according to the proposal. It intends to reduce fossil fuel demand by 86% by 2050.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation making carbon neutrality a mandate this year. He says California needs substantial adjustments to become a climate leader.

Newsom: “We’re making history in California”

The plan was criticized before board approval. Capturing and storing substantial amounts of carbon underground is contentious.

Critics believe it encourages the state’s biggest emitters to do less to combat climate change.

Activists, residents, and specialists weighed in on the plan in a several-hour discussion before the board vote.

Many thought the latest version, while not perfect, was an improvement from past iterations, pledging the state to limit planet-warming emissions.

Board member Davina Hurt is glad the state is heading toward carbon neutrality.

Hurt praised the plan’s boldness and aggression.

The plan does not commit the state to specific actions but outlines how California can achieve its goals. Below are the  Highlights:

California Voted To Approve Plans For Carbon Neutrality Roadmap By 2045

Gov. Gavin Newsom, center, is flanked by state lawmakers while discussing the package of legislation he signed that accelerates the climate goals of the nation’s most populous state, at Mare Island in Vallejo, Calif., on Sept. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

RENAISSANCE

Plan implementation depends on the state’s ability to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy. It plans for reducing liquid fuel usage by 94% by 2045 and quadrupling solar and wind capacity.

New residential and commercial buildings will be powered by electric appliances by 2020.

The calls to reduce oil and gas use comes as public officials struggle to avoid blackouts during record-breaking heat waves.

At Thursday’s meeting, CARB Chair Liane Randolph called the latest plan the most ambitious yet. This year’s public feedback prompted improvements.

Randolph: “Achieving carbon neutrality means using all tools to minimize emissions and store carbon.”

California Voted To Approve Plans For Carbon Neutrality Roadmap By 2045

Traffic moves along a freeway as vehicles travel towards Los Angeles, California, U.S., on March 22, 2022. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

TRANSPORTATION

Officials think phasing out gas-powered automobiles and trucks would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect public health.

In a July letter to the air board, Newsom sought dramatic cuts to aviation emissions to join other transportation sector reductions as the state transitions to zero-emission vehicle sales by 2035.

10% of aviation fuel needs must come from electric or hydrogen sources by 2045, and all medium-duty vehicles must be zero-emission by 2040. The board has already banned the sale of new gasoline-only cars in the state by 2035.

California Voted To Approve Plans For Carbon Neutrality Roadmap By 2045

This aerial photo shows the Standard Oil Refinery in El Segundo, Calif., with Los Angeles International Airport in the background and the El Porto neighborhood of Manhattan Beach, Calif., in the foreground on May 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

CAPTURING CARBON

The state strategy calls carbon capture an “essential tool” for mitigating climate change. The state must collect 100 million metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2045.

Environmental justice attorney Connie Cho hailed the initiative as “a significant step forward” to reduce climate change and protect public health.

Our communities have suffered from chronic disease and died at disproportionate rates for too long due to environmental racism, Cho added.

Cho questioned its carbon capture targets, saying they allow refineries to pollute while the state decreases emissions elsewhere.

California Voted To Approve Plans For Carbon Neutrality Roadmap By 2045

Gen Nashimoto, of Luminalt, installs solar panels in Hayward, Calif., on April 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

AGRICULTURE

By 2045, farm methane emissions must be reduced by 66%. Cattle release methane, a planet-warming gas.

Implementing the strategy would reduce agriculture’s dependency on fossil fuels.

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