How Will California Meet It's Goals?

chart of CA GHG Emissions and GoalsCalifornia set ambitious climate change goals with the passage of AB32 in 2006 and SB32 in 2016. The state met the goal of AB32 four years early in 2016--reducing 1990 carbon emissions by 15% by 2020. However, the state is not on track to meet the goal of SB32 to reduce 1990 carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 or the goal to be carbon neutral by 2045 (Executive Order B-55-18 in 2018). Both AB32 and SB32 require the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to get us there and they are working on it. Counties, cities, and towns can voluntarily help and many are leading the way e.g., Sonoma, Lancaster, Berkeley.


Both Mono and Inyo Counties have Climate Action Plans and have established a baseline of their carbon emissions to measure their progress against. Mono County has been steadily going green for years. It has set carbon emission goals, has incorporated incentives and financing programs in its General Plan encouraging the public to go green, and has added solar and energy efficiencies to county buildings as money permits. It is the only county that charges just $4 for a solar permit.


The Town of Mammoth Lakes passed a resolution in 2007 to endorse the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, but has done little towards the Kyoto Protocol targets it pledged to meet. However, the High Sierra Energy Foundation in Mammoth has been steadily working to reduce energy consumption of the town through projects funded by the High Sierra Energy Initiative. Also, with a grant, Mammoth completed a vulnerability assessment that identified the impacts of climate change on the town and updated its General Plan to allow mitigation projects.


Actions on the part of government agencies are voluntary and usually unfunded. Bottom line, only CARB is required to meet the state’s goals. Will that be enough?