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Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Targets Are “Largely Symbolic,” says ARB

April 3, 2018 by Preshita Pandey

(Source:Streetsblog Cal) At a recent California Air Resources Board (ARB) meeting, the board adopted regional greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2020 and 2035, as required by S.B. 375. Each region was assigned a target–ranging from a three to fifteen percent reduction in per capita passenger vehicle greenhouse gas emissions relative to 2005 by 2020–with the amount increasing by 2035. Smaller regions generally have smaller targets; no region was assigned a target over nineteen percent for 2035.The update voted on at the meeting was, according to staff, a “paradigm shift” in how the ARB approaches tracking and evaluating the effectiveness of Sustainable Community Strategies, which are part of regional transportation plans. Chair Mary Nichols said the update “brings greater focus to tracking and monitoring policies and investments at the regional level.”This is key. Since it was passed in 2008, S.B. 375’s effectiveness has been difficult to track, and its success has been marginal.One of the first climate change laws passed in California, S.B. 375 was an attempt to get regional governments to better align land use and transportation planning so as to make it possible for Californians to cut down on the amount of driving they do. It requires, among other things, that Metropolitan Planning Organizations—MPOs, the regional planning agencies—come up with strategies that can help them achieve reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Read full article…

 

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