California announces specifics of greenhouse-gas reduction plans
On Thursday, California state regulators released specific plans to reduce California’s greenhouse-gas emissions 10 percent from today’s levels by 2020, the first phase of a scheme to reduce emissions 80 percent by 2050. The bulk of the outlined reductions are designed to come from programs the state has already begun work on, but have been stalled, most notably California’s regulation of greenhouse gases from vehicles, which was shot down by the U.S. EPA. Other programs designed to reduce emissions include requiring utilities to get a third of their power from renewable sources by 2020, mandating more efficient homes and appliances, encouraging walkable cities as well as high-speed rail transit, and improving by a quarter the energy efficiency of the state’s buildings. Additional GHG reductions would be achieved through a cap-and-trade system among businesses in the state, which is set to begin in 2012. Aside from reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, officials estimate the plans would also help reduce pollution and pollution-related illnesses like asthma and bronchitis.