Climate: Stronger Targets, Wider Scope

climateplan_traffic.jpgCalifornia is leading the nation in addressing climate change, especially with the passage of SB 32 (Pavley) and the Governor’s Executive Order B-30-15, mandating that the state must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.

As shown in the graph below, from a report by the California Air Resources Board, even with 50% of vehicle sales coming from zero-emission vehicles, and 75% of energy production from renewable sources, we will still have to reduce vehicle miles traveled -- that is, how much we drive.

To help meet the state’s climate goals by 2030 by reducing vehicle miles traveled, every Californian needs to drive just 1.6 fewer miles every day.

Climate_planning_scenario_graph.jpg

In its report, ARB recommends “greater per capita GHG emission reductions from SB 375 than are currently in place.” Specifically, as the graph above shows, we will need to reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by 7.5% more than current regional plans (RTP/SCSs) provide in 2035, and 15% more VMT reduction by 2050.

SB 375 Regional Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Targets

One important strategy to reduce VMT is through regions' Sustainable Communities Strategies. In October 2017, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) released the final targets for reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions from cars for each of the state’s regions.

These targets are important because they guide each region’s land-use planning and transportation spending. After the targets are adopted, each region then must show how it will meet its target in its Sustainable Communities Strategy.

These higher targets are essential to achieving our state’s climate goals. But some regions are pushing back.

Regions wrestle with tougher targets

Regional agencies (also called metropolitan planning organizations or MPOs) have also presented their own analyses. While some regional agencies believe they can achieve higher targets (that is, greater reductions), most regions say it will be difficult to meet their current targets — let alone higher targets.

You can see each MPO’s analysis here on ARB’s SB 375 page.

ClimatePlan is committed to working with MPOs, as well as regional and statewide partners, to achieve ambitious SB 375 greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets that:

– Provide meaningful benefits to low-income and disadvantaged communities.
– Promote equitable infill development and preservation of natural and working landscapes.
– Improve air quality and public health outcomes for all Californians.
– Encourage land use and transportation planning strategies that reduce our reliance on automobiles.

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