Emissions Reduction Plan released The key actions, numbers

Wednesday, May 18, 2022
author picture Lucas Simon
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Original content created by news.limited staff

Emissions Reduction Plan Released

California has released its Emissions Reduction Plan. This report explains how the plan can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon pricing‚ low-carbon fuel standard‚ and Cities' climate action plans are all examples of strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This report also discusses the future of the oil and gas sector. Specifically‚ it examines how these sectors can play an important role in reducing emissions.

California's Emissions Reduction Plan

California's plan calls for accelerated shift away from petroleum. While this will increase state energy security and reduce state reliance on volatile global oil prices‚ it also will bring significant health benefits to all Californians. Air pollution caused by freight delivery and traffic is particularly damaging to low-income communities of color. With accelerated shift away from petroleum‚ the state can reduce emissions and improve local air quality while reducing the overall cost of implementation. The plan's goals include reducing oil use by 91% by 2045 and boosting renewable energy sources. The state is aiming for carbon neutrality by 2045‚ a goal that's ambitious by any standard. However‚ the costs associated with these goals are estimated to be $27 billion by 2045. In the short term‚ California will have to invest $27 billion over the next eight years to reach its carbon neutrality goal. While the plan has made great strides toward its goal of zero emissions by 2030‚ it doesn't directly lay out how it will accomplish this goal. The role of cap and trade is likely to diminish. Under cap and trade‚ businesses are required to buy credits equal to the amount of carbon they emit. As carbon prices increase‚ they will be more inclined to reduce their emissions. However‚ the air board will assess the new plan after completing the scoping plan. While the air board expects to evaluate the cap-and-trade program in 2023‚ the numbers don't fully take into account the impacts of wildfires on air quality. Wildfires pump more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than all the state's global warming programs combined. Cap and trade also may undercount methane emissions‚ which is even more potent than carbon dioxide. The Environmental Defense Fund estimates that the oil and gas industry is emitting more methane than federal estimates.

Carbon pricing

Carbon pricing is a market-based strategy for reducing global warming emissions. The goal is to put a price on carbon emissions in a way that reflects both the costs of climate impact and the opportunities for low-carbon energy. Carbon pricing programs can be implemented through regulation or legislative action. These are currently in use in California‚ nine states in the Northeast‚ and many European countries. They are considered a proven‚ effective method for addressing climate change. Although many advocates of carbon pricing in the Emissions Reduction Plan argue that such a policy will lower costs‚ a major challenge is political. As a result‚ policy approaches need to be carefully tested to ensure their effectiveness. However‚ the potential for success is high. Even if they are proven to work‚ they must be implemented properly to achieve their goals. Here are three examples of how carbon pricing in the Emissions Reduction Plan can be implemented: One advantage of carbon pricing in the Emissions Reduction Plan is its ability to encourage emitters to reorient their business models towards a low-carbon economy. A carbon price also provides investors with an incentive to support the implementation of a robust carbon pricing scheme. Increasing recognition of climate change will help build momentum for such policies. And the carbon price itself will be more than worth the effort to implement. But how does it work? The best carbon pricing policy requires widespread political support and careful policy design. But a successful carbon pricing policy must also be able to provide ways to finance mitigation costs and build up capacities. For instance‚ it may reward businesses that support the establishment of an emissions trading system‚ which is beneficial for small and medium sized enterprises. The government should be sure to phase the carbon pricing policy in gradually to reduce costs and help displaced workers and communities.

Low-carbon fuel standard

The state of New York recently introduced a bill‚ HB 1110‚ that would have established a low-carbon fuel standard for new vehicles. The legislation would have set a date of January 1‚ 2021‚ as the start date for the low-carbon fuel standard. It was backed by several environmental and labor groups‚ as well as automobile companies and agricultural interests. Although the bill has faced opposition from some lawmakers‚ its authors are committed to reintroducing it in 2020. A CA-LCFS is similar to cap-and-trade for the transportation sector‚ but the carbon intensity is capped based on the average MJ of fuel sold. While both policies set overall targets‚ CA-LCFS allows for greater flexibility for firms to meet that target. Regulated entities select fuel types and quantities based on their carbon intensity targets‚ allowing them to meet the targets in the most efficient way. To implement the LCFS‚ companies will need to know the carbon intensity of the fuel they use. The carbon intensity of gasoline produced from crude oil is higher than the benchmark‚ so fuel producers would generate deficits of 7.77 gCO2e per MJ. Companies can then sell or purchase LCFS credits to meet the standards. A large part of the proceeds will go to rebates for electric vehicles. As part of AB32‚ the state of California has introduced the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) as a market-based program that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10% by 2020. Initially‚ the LCFS program was set at 10% reduction by 2020‚ but was raised to 20% by 2030. By 2030‚ it is expected that emissions will be reduced by 16 million metric tons annually.

Cities' climate action plans

CDP has published a report highlighting cities' progress toward meeting the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C by 2050. The report outlines the key actions cities are taking to meet this target and looks at the requirements set by climate science. While cities make up only 2% of the earth's surface‚ they are responsible for 70% of all emissions. As a result‚ strong climate action by cities is critical to meeting the Paris Agreement target. Using a comprehensive approach to climate action‚ the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians has set a goal to become carbon neutral by 2038. They are also targeting a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of four percent per year. In contrast‚ the City of Seattle has released a climate action plan that focuses on reducing carbon emissions. It aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2017 and 40% by 2025. A key aspect of the NAPCC is promoting energy efficiency as a core urban planning component. It also encourages automobile fuel economy standards and public transportation. In addition‚ it emphasizes sustainable waste management and recycling. In addition‚ it sets a twenty percent goal for water use efficiency. This goal is important because water scarcity is a major problem caused by climate change. The plan also aims to prevent the melting of the Himalayan glaciers and protect the biodiversity of the region. The C40 Climate Action Planning Programme supports cities in developing and releasing their own climate action plans. The C40 Framework guides cities in setting specific goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and climate adaptation. C40 Action Plans also include a timeline for implementing the climate goals. Cities' climate action plans should be comprehensive and detailed enough to meet the Paris goals. It should be a roadmap for future government and business action on climate change.

Methane reductions

The United States has set a goal to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas industry by 40 to 45 percent by 2025. The goal was set in conjunction with the announcements of numerous federal agencies‚ including the Environmental Protection Agency‚ the Department of the Interior‚ and the Department of Transportation. The goal was set in a broad framework to ensure the most cost-effective mitigation of methane emissions. As an important greenhouse gas‚ methane is second only to carbon dioxide in contribution to climate change‚ responsible for about a third of the current climate warming. Furthermore‚ methane contributes to the formation of tropospheric ozone‚ a potent air pollutant that can have serious health effects. In the context of the Paris Agreement‚ methane emissions are key to keeping global temperatures under 1.5 degrees Celsius. Methane reductions are a key part of the global climate change strategy‚ as they represent the fastest and most cost-effective means of combating global warming. Further‚ they help protect human health‚ food security‚ and ecosystems from climate change. In addition‚ cutting methane emissions can help prevent tropospheric ozone formation‚ which has multiple adverse impacts. Unfortunately‚ human-induced methane emissions are still rising. The US government has published a detailed blueprint for meeting this goal by 2030. Moreover‚ the oil and gas industry has a major stake in the plan. The industry's lobbying group‚ the American Petroleum Institute (API)‚ has a stake in these efforts. This lobbying group is strongly opposed to efforts to impose fees on oil and gas companies for methane leaks. However‚ fracking has helped reduce methane leaks in the past few years‚ and technological advancements have made it cheaper and easier to detect natural gas leaks. The EPA's plan includes the tightening of safety regulations for pipelines and gas transmission.