Gov. Brown sets ambitious emissions target for California amid worsening drought
Governor Jerry Brown renewed California’s goals on greenhouse gas emissions today via executive order.
Already one of the most eco-conscious states in the nation— on paper, anyway— California must now aim to reduce emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels within 15 years, the BBC reported. The move comes amid mounting water use restrictions designed to mitigate the potential water supply shortfalls as California moves further into the worst drought in 1,200 years.
"With this order, California sets a very high bar for itself and other states and nations, but it's one that must be reached— for this generation and generations to come,” Brown said in a statement.
Brown was vague on how exactly the state would meet the proposed target, but the BBC did point out that he’d previously spoken on several occasions about the need to increase investment in renewable electricity capacity while curbing gasoline consumption in transportation and increasing overall energy efficiency of buildings across the state throughout the commercial, industrial and residential sectors.
California is the second largest polluter of all states in the nation, well beyond that contributed by all states by Texas. In 2012, California accounted for 446.1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide— roughly 6.9 percent of the country’s total, according to the World Resources Institute.
While that’s certainly high for one out of 50 states, it should be pointed out that California also has 12 percent of the total American population, making the state’s per capita energy consumption relatively low.
Toyota unveils electric van and Volvo opens fuel cell lab
Toyota is launching its first zero emission battery electric vehicle, the Proace Electric medium-duty panel van, across Europe.
The model, which offers a choice of 50 or 75kWh lithium-ion batteries with range of up to 205 miles, is being rolled out in the UK, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden.
At present, alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs, including battery electric vehicles) account for only a fraction – around 1.8 per cent – of new light commercial van sales in the UK, but a number of factors are accelerating demand for practical alternatives to vans with conventional internal combustion engines.
Low and zero emission zones are coming into force to reduce local pollution and improve air quality in urban centres, at the same time as rapid growth in ecommerce is generating more day-to-day delivery traffic.
Meanwhile the opening of Volvo's first dedicated fuel cell test lab in Volvo Group, marks a significant milestone in the manufacturer’s ambition to be fossil-free by 2040.
Fuel cells work by combining hydrogen with oxygen, with the resulting chemical reaction producing electricity. The process is completely emission-free, with water vapour being the only by-product.
Toni Hagelberg, Head of Sustainable Power at Volvo CE, says fuel cell technology is a key enabler of sustainable solutions for heavier construction machines, and this investment provides another vital tool in its work to reach targets.
"The lab will also serve Volvo Group globally, as it’s the first to offer this kind of advanced testing," he said.
The Fuel Cell Test Lab is a demonstration of the same dedication to hydrogen fuel cell technology, as the recent launch of cell centric, a joint venture by Volvo Group and Daimler Truck to accelerate the development, production and commercialization of fuel cell solutions within long-haul trucking and beyond. Both form a key part of the Group’s overall ambition to be 100% fossil free by 2040.