Most Ambitious Climate Goals Lead to Greatest Economic Growth

Yesterday, Governor Brown set a higher goal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in California – to 40% by 2030. 

You can bet many people are wondering if that’s achievable and what impact it will have on the economy.

New research provides an answer: the highest, most ambitious goals produce the biggest economic boost. 

"All seven policy pathways resulted in net positive economic benefits for Californians, but the most powerful economic and employment stimulus comes from moving quickly and aggressively to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," says Professor Roland-Holst, who conducted the study at University of California/Berkeley.

California Please Do Not Emit

The research assesses employment, income, household consumption, price, and emission impacts of different greenhouse gas reduction strategies – from ambitious early action to more gradual approaches the state could take to cut emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050 – and finds that all seven policy pathways modeled resulted in net positive economic benefits for Californians.

But the most ambitious 2030 emissions cap produces the greatest overall positive economic impact – more than a million new jobs and nearly 6% higher economic value (gross state product) amounting to $338 billion by 2050.

It also shows California can achieve its 2050 climate target even under the least ambitious cap-and-trade program.

The most ambitious policy scenario for 2030 includes a strong cap-and-trade program; 50% renewable energy; carbon mitigation credits; energy efficiency improvements; a moderate electric vehicle adoption rate -25% of vehicle sales by 2030 and 100% by 2050.

This is more ambitious that the 40% by 2030 that the Governor has settled on.

Read, California Climate Policy to 2050: Pathways for Sustained Prosperity:

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