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Global Warming Solutions Act: How California Has Acted on Climate Change

Image: Global Warming Solutions Act: How California Has Acted on Climate Change
Joggers pass the El Segundo Power Plant on November 29, 2006 in El Segundo, California. (David McNew/Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 14 Dec 2014 03:30 PM

The United States has lagged for years in agreeing to a comprehensive attack to reduce carbon emissions. Some states, like California have passed their own initiatives. The Global Warming Solutions Act is California’s attack on greenhouse gases.

The Assembly Bill 32 was passed in 2006 was aimed at protecting the economy at the same time it required industry to clean up its act. AB 32 requires levels of greenhouse gas emissions to roll back to 1990 levels by the year 2020.

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The bill calls for industry to rely on advanced technology to achieve this goal. According to the California Environmental Protection Agency, new technologies embraced by the Global Warming Solutions Act include “energy efficiency, expanding the use of renewable energy resources, cleaner transportation, and reducing waste.”

AB 32 required a “scoping plan” for the state to specify strategies to meet the 2020 goal. It was updated in 2014, to celebrate successes and include next steps for action. The new plan emphasizes changes in transportation, and the way agriculture uses water and other natural resources. Reducing car emissions is a big part of the plan, also.

“California has shown that we can grow our economy more efficiently with less carbon emitted into the atmosphere. We now get twice as much production from a ton of greenhouse gases as the rest of the country, and we know we can do more,” California Air Resources Board Chairman Mary D. Nichols stated in a press release.

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Water conservation continues to be an important part of the California Global Warming Solutions Act. The state’s efforts have not prevented the worst drought in its history. New research shows that the California land may have not seen a drought as bad in over 1,200 years.

An assistant professor in the Department of Geography Environment and Society at the University of Minnesota, Daniel Griffin, told Science Daily that California tree ring samples from the state can give very reliable information.

“California’s old blue oaks are as close to nature’s rain gauges as we get. They thrive in some of California’s driest environments,” said Griffin. The scientists say their research shows human-caused climate change may be intensifying the natural cycle of California droughts.

Science Daily notes that California, while just one state in the union, is actually the world’s eighth largest economy.

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The United States has lagged for years in agreeing to a comprehensive attack to reduce carbon emissions. Some states, like California have passed their own initiatives. The Global Warming Solutions Act is California's attack on greenhouse gases.
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