In an Executive Order issued yesterday, California Governor Jerry Brown set “a new interim statewide greenhouse gas emission reduction target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 is established in order to ensure California meets its target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.” The first step in this process, not surprisingly, will be taken by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) where CARB is ordered to “update the Climate Change Scoping Plan to express the 2030 target in terms of million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.”
The California Natural Resources Agency will then take the reins and identify a lead agency or group of agencies to lead climate adaptation strategies in various sectors. Presumably, some combination of the California Energy Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission will lead the efforts in the energy sector. We will stay tuned to the California Natural Resources Agency’s efforts to update its Safeguarding California strategic plan to meet the Executive Order and see what agencies take on the task. A lot of responsibility for John Laird, the Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency and former California Assemblyman!
Interestingly, the Executive Order explicitly includes all of the following sectors in its order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions: water, energy, transportation, public health, agriculture, emergency services, forestry, biodiversity and habitat, and ocean and coastal resources. That means a lot of California public agencies involved in this effort – many that have not traditionally focused on this issue.
Lead agencies in each sector must prepare an implementation plan by September 2015 and are due to report back to the California Natural Resources Agency with their respective actions by June 2016. For agencies like the California Public Utilities Commission with very formal and relatively lengthy processes, a September 2015 deadline will not give them a whole lot of time for a normal public stakeholder process. And for agencies that have not dealt with this issue at all, the deadline doesn’t give them a whole lot of time to ramp up.