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CARB’s latest climate proposal flouts scientists’ warnings: 2045 is too late

During an April 20 workshop, staff at the California Air Resources Board (CARB) recommended that the agency pursue a pathway to carbon neutrality by 2045, requiring little immediate action to reduce climate pollution. CARB must adopt a Final Scoping Plan before the end of 2022, which will determine the direction of California’s climate policy for the next several critical years.

In response, The Climate Center CEO Ellie Cohen said:

“2045 is simply too late. California can and must achieve carbon neutrality by at least 2035 in order to have a chance of securing a climate-safe future. We strongly urge CARB to heed the latest science and align with Governor Newsom’s calls to accelerate the state’s climate action timeline. 

“CARB’s all-out reliance on engineered carbon removal technologies promoted by oil and gas corporations is foolhardy and dangerous. CARB has also missed the opportunity to scale up natural carbon sequestration, with its many co-benefits for resilience, communities, and nature. In order to secure a stable climate, California needs to rapidly phase out fossil fuels — starting now — accelerate the transition to renewable energy, and invest in proven natural climate solutions. As goes California, so goes the world.”

In a letter sent to CARB on May 3, 2022, The Climate Center urged CARB to consider five key points as it updates the Scoping Plan:

  • The science calls for immediate and rapid emissions reductions;
  • The economic and social costs of inaction are far greater than the costs of investing in equitable climate solutions today;
  • CARB should be wary of failed carbon removal technologies promoted by oil and gas corporations; 
  • Natural carbon sequestration can play a greater role in helping California equitably reach net-negative emissions; and
  • Greater investment in renewable energy and distributed energy resources is a huge opportunity for job creation in California. 

Last July, Governor Newsom directed CARB to explore pathways to reaching carbon neutrality by 2035 or sooner. A 2021 study by California-based scientists and climate experts suggested that net-negative emissions by 2030 is achievable if the state can accelerate the transition to renewable energy, phase out oil and gas, and scale up natural carbon sequestration. 

ENDS

Notes: Additional comments on the Scoping Plan submitted to CARB can be found here

Contact: Ryan Schleeter, Communications Director, The Climate Center: ryan@theclimatecenter.org, (415) 342-2386

About The Climate Center: 

The Climate Center is a climate and energy policy nonprofit working to rapidly reduce climate pollution at scale, starting in California. We are a think-tank, do-tank working to turn bold ideas into action for an equitable, climate-safe future. Our flagship Climate-Safe California campaign is a unique and comprehensive effort to make California the first state in the nation to reach carbon negative. www.theclimatecenter.org  

Ryan Schleeter
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