California is seeing the example in reducing emissions
Author: Amit Batabyal
A central part of California’s 2022 Scoping Plan is to decrease greenhouse gas emissions 48% below 1990 levels and to attain carbon neutrality by 2045. To accomplish this goal, it will be necessary to lessen petroleum use by 94% between 2022 and 2045 and to decrease fossil fuel use overall by 86%. The transportation sector in California – and many other states – is the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases. Having already put its Low Carbon Fuel Standard in place, California is well positioned to ensure that almost all new vehicles have zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035 and possibly sooner. Also, this standard obliges oil companies to diminish the carbon intensity of transportation fuels. This is salient because this part of the standard will ensure that the liquid fuels that will continue to be needed for legacy cars and trucks on the road after 2045 are low carbon biofuels. Although California’s Scoping Plan is ambitious, there are potential pitfalls of which to be mindful. If opposition to some of the plan’s bolder initiatives rises, then some parts of this plan may be modified or scrapped. If battery costs do not keep decreasing, if the state’s electric utilities, for instance, do not provide the needed charging infrastructure with sufficient rapidity, or if there is local resistance to either new charging sites or to grid improvements, then California may be compelled to slacken its zero-emissions vehicle requirements.