California approves climate change target that critics say is far too weak

By Sammy Roth | LA Times Link to article

redondo beach power plant

State officials signed off Thursday on a climate change target that critics say will reduce planet-warming emissions far too slowly. The action comes as economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to slow the growth of renewable energy.

Meeting via video conference to protect against the novel coronavirus, the five-member California Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved a plan that aims to cut power-plant emissions by about 25% over the next decade — a slower pace than those emissions fell during the previous decade. The commission had studied a plan to cut power-sector emissions in half but ultimately concluded the less aggressive target would keep California on track to meet its goal of 100% clean electricity by 2045.

Commissioner Liane Randolph described the agency’s decision as plenty ambitious. She said it would require California to roughly double its fleet of solar panels, wind turbines and lithium-ion batteries by 2030, dramatically reducing the use of fossil fuels.

“These historic levels of renewable procurement will be a significant challenge to achieve,” Randolph said.

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