Monday, September 23

UCLA on track to meeting new state greenhouse gas reduction targets

Gov. Jerry Brown announced new targets for greenhouse gas emissions in California on Wednesday, aiming to reduce emissions by 40 percent below 1990 emission levels for 2030.

The previous greenhouse gas reduction target for the state was set to reduce emissions by 2020 to the 1990 level of approximately 340,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. The new target is meant to help the state reach the goal set by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to reduce emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, according to a press release from Brown’s office.

UCLA is already on track to exceed the new target because the university aims to have no net carbon emissions by 2025, said Chief Sustainability Officer Nurit Katz.

Brown’s order aligns California’s greenhouse gas reduction target with the reduction target established by the European Union in October 2014.

Though UCLA is already meeting the new targets, Katz said she thinks UCLA will still benefit from Brown’s executive order because she thinks there will be more statewide support for the goal.

“In order to achieve the goal statewide, new programs, policies and some funding sources will come into place that can help support the efforts we are already going for,” Katz said.

In Brown’s 2015 inaugural address, he said California would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by increasing the amount of electricity produced from renewable sources, decreasing the use of petroleum in cars and reducing the amount of methane and other pollutants released by industries.

The bulk of UCLA’s carbon emissions come from energy consumption on campus, Katz said. UCLA is focusing on energy conservation and efficiency, increasing the use of on-site renewable energy sources such as biogas and solar energy and using renewable energy credits and offsets, she added.

Complied by Kat Bocanegra Speed, Bruin contributor.

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