10 statewide efforts to increase sustainability

In 2017, 30 percent of retail energy in California came from renewable sources. Panther Archives

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Trump administration want to roll back laws that could reduce carbon dioxide pollution by about 6 billion tons, and that allow California to set its own air quality rules, according to The New York Times.

The Clean Air Act prohibits states from enacting their own emission standards for new vehicles, but the EPA granted California a waiver in 2008, which allowed the state’s stricter car emission rules to be enforced.

Here are 10 of California’s efforts to reduce emissions and increase sustainability.

  1. In 2017, 30 percent of retail energy in California came from renewable sources.
  2. The California Air Resources Board’s current goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent less than 1990 levels by 2030.
  3. By 2030, the California Air Resources Board plans to reduce petroleum use in vehicles by 50 percent, make 50 percent of electricity renewable and double efficiency savings in existing buildings.
  4. California also works to use carbon sequestration, which is the use of wetlands, forests and farms to store carbon. These lands take carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and convert it into ground matter, like trees and rocks.
  5. California has a Cap and Trade Plan, which controls the amount of carbon and other types of atmospheric pollutants that are emitted in California. Since 2015, the greenhouse gas allowance has decreased. The current plan runs until 2031.
  6. California’s 2018-19 budget includes $1.25 billion to spend on the Cap and Trade Plan. This money contributes to low carbon transportation, climate smart agriculture, clean energy research, mitigation plans and more.
  7. In Orange County, recycled water is pumped into the ground to replenish groundwater, which is used in agriculture and in some cases mixed with imported water and distributed as potable water.
  8. All state buildings and renovations planned after 2025 must be net-zero energy buildings, meaning that the amount of energy used by the building is less than or equal to the amount of renewable energy created by the building.
  9. In California, 350 billion miles are driven per year. For this reason, the government is looking for ways to increase car mileage efficiency through its Road Charge Pilot Program.
  10. California offers a rebate for people who purchase or lease a zero-emissions vehicle or plug-in hybrids.