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Climate: Stronger Targets

800px-I-80_Eastshore_FwyClimatePlan is calling on the California Air Resources Board (ARB) to strengthen its greenhouse-gas reduction targets for regions throughout the state.

This is needed to meet the state’s goals to fight climate change.

Background

To implement SB 375, the Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) set targets for reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions from cars for each of the state’s regions.

These targets guide each region’s land-use planning and transportation spending. Each region then shows how it will meet these targets in its Sustainable Communities Strategy.

ARB is now revisiting those targets; this is the opportunity to change them to achieve greater emissions reductions.

Fixing the targets

In some cases, the targets were set too low. In some, the modeling was off. Sometimes both the targets and model were off. Now they must be fixed to meaningfully reduce emissions.

Twenty-two ClimatePlan partners signed onto a letter urging ARB to evaluate regional progress on GHG reductions and to consider updating some targets, and to identify and share best practices among the current set of Sustainable Communities Strategies. (Note: ClimatePlan is now doing our own report on best practices — or what we’re calling “Leading Practices.” Stay tuned.)

Moving forward (slowly)

In late 2014, the Air Resources Board kicked off the update process and decided on its approach: you can read ARB’s white paper on the target update process and our blog post for more on this. The targets were expected in late 2015, according to an ARB update, but ARB staff recommended in a staff report that these not go into effect until 2019, for the next round of the four largest regions’ Sustainable Communities Strategies.

ClimatePlan and its partners will continue pushing for targets for each region that reduce greenhouse-gas emissions enough to meet California’s goals.

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