California is on track to meet its state-mandated targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions for 2020, but it will not be able to meet its 2050 target without bold new technologies and policies. This is the conclusion of the California Greenhouse Gas Inventory Spreadsheet (GHGIS), a new model developed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) to look at how far existing policies and technologies can get us in emissions reductions.
A 2005 executive order requires California to reduce its emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases—including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and hydrofluorocarbons—to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. “This is quite a stringent requirement, and even if we aggressively expand our policies and implement fledgling technologies that are not even on the marketplace now, our analysis shows that California will still not be able to get emissions to 85 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent per year by 2050,” said Jeff Greenblatt, a Berkeley Lab researcher who created the GHGIS. (more…)