Accelerating California’s Countdown to 2030
California is already experiencing the rapidly compounding effects of climate change:
- Six of the seven-largest wildfires in California history have occurred in the past 13 months.
- This July, Stovepipe Wells recorded North America’s highest average daily temperature ever.
- 88% of the state is in “extreme” or “exceptional” drought, with crops and wildlife dying, reservoirs drying up and fire season year-round.
“It is clear that California is running out of time to achieve its ambitious climate goals,” said Pedro J. Pizarro, president and CEO of Edison International, parent company of Southern California Edison and Edison Energy. “Policy changes and additions are needed now to ensure that California meets its 2030 greenhouse gas reduction goal — a reduction that is vital for the state to ultimately achieve its goal to decarbonize its economy by 2045.”
While California has made significant progress, change is not happening quickly enough. The state must quadruple its annual rate of greenhouse gas emission reductions by adopting market-transforming policies and funding mechanisms to meet its decarbonization goals, concludes “Mind the Gap: Policies for California’s Countdown to 2030.” Edison International’s new paper describes specific, transformative and achievable changes across all sectors of the California economy.
Among the steps proposed by “Mind the Gap” are a faster shift toward electric passenger and commercial vehicles, gains in energy efficiency, accelerated electrification of buildings, dramatic increases in renewable energy and storage and investments in improved, hardened transmission and distribution infrastructure.
“The electric sector has made significant progress in reducing GHG emissions, contributing 40% of California’s GHG emissions reductions since 2005,” said Erica Bowman, director of the Edison International CEO’s Office and principal author of the policy paper. “Federal and state policies are needed to continue the progress of the electric sector and accelerate the electrification of other sectors and to ensure the reliability and resilience of the grid.”
Two years ago, SCE’s Pathway 2045, a data-driven analysis, identified an achievable and affordable route to decarbonize California’s economy by 2045, as required by state law. It proposed aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goals by 2030. “Mind the Gap” demonstrates how the slow pace of decarbonization achievement has jeopardized both of those goals.
It is clear that California is running out of time to achieve its ambitious climate goals. Policy changes and additions are needed now to ensure that California meets its 2030 greenhouse gas reduction goal — a reduction that is vital for the state to ultimately achieve its goal to decarbonize its economy by 2045.”Pedro Pizarro, Edison International President and CEO
As “Mind the Gap” concludes, individuals, families and communities worldwide are now being forced to adapt to the effects of climate change. The accelerated pace of climate change underscores the criticality of reducing emissions at a much faster rate than ever before to mitigate its most severe impacts and to support a successful, equitable and affordable transition to a clean energy economy.
“At Edison, we will continue working in partnership with the state and federal governments and with other stakeholders, including the communities we serve, to advance policies that rapidly cut GHG emissions,” Pizarro said.
“Now is the time for us to act together to deeply decarbonize California’s economy — and create a blueprint for the world to follow.”