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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Identifying Options for Deep Reductions in Greenhouse Gas Emissions from California Transportation: Meeting an 80% Reduction Goal in 2050


Climate change in California could have a large impact on the state’s economy, natural and managed ecosystems, and human health and mortality. In an effort to mitigate such consequences, Governor Schwarzenegger signed Executive Order S-3-05 in 2005, and the state passed landmark legislation, the Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32), in 2006. The Executive Order calls for an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions relative to 1990 levels by 2050. The 80% reduction goal is not based on known mitigation options, but rather on emissions rates that are thought to be needed to stabilize atmospheric concentrations of GHGs before catastrophic climate changes occur. As a result, strategies for meeting this ambitious target have not been clearly defined, and the technology and policy options are not well understood. This report explores how the 80% reduction goal (80in50) may be met in the transportation sector, the largest contributor to GHG emissions in California.

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