California Plans To Drastically Cut Carbon Emissions By 2030

Party like it's pre-1990

Sun and Smog
Sun and Smog
Los Angeles SkylineMitch Barrie/Flickr CC by SA 2.0

Less than a month ago California's Governor, Jerry Brown, announced mandatory water restrictions for his drought-plagued state. Now, he's set another environmental bar for the state to live up to, this time tackling emissions instead of water.

A new executive order announces that the state's yearly greenhouse gas emissions should be brought down to 40 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2030. That's a highly ambitious goal, especially compared to the emissions goals set by the United States, which only plans to reduce levels to 26 percent below what they were in 2005 by 2025.

"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," Brown said in a statement.

Brown's plan is not without precedent. The European Union made the same pledge last fall.

There are few details available about how California will cut emissions so dramatically, but Brown isn't one to stand idly by as a deadline approaches. Yesterday, he proposed an aggressive fine of $10,000 a day for people who waste water. There's no reason to think he won't deal with emissions evaders the same way.