California Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order on Wednesday aiming to reduce greenhouse emissions by 40 percent, compared to the 1990 levels, by 2030.
Prior to his announcement, the state already owned the toughest benchmark. The current state law aims to reduce greenhouse emissions by 80 percent by 2050 as part of California's strategy to combat global warming. Global warming is considered an "ever-growing" threat to the state's economy and welfare, according to the New York Times.
"Climate change poses an ever-growing threat to the well-being, public health, natural resources, economy, and the environment of California, including loss of snowpack, drought, sea level rise, more frequent and intense wildfires, heat waves, more severe smog, and harm to natural and working lands, and these effects are already being felt in the state," Brown said in his executive order.
The new order puts California ahead of other states in terms of measures devised to address climate change. While Brown did not mention how the state plans to achieve its new goal, he placed importance on making sure that everything will be in placed before his term ends.
Brown wants California to set an example to other states and countries that maintaining a good economy is possible while lowering greenhouse emissions. He said that he is disappointed that the Republicans in Congress continue to deny that global warming is a threat, the Los Angeles Times reported.
"That kind of magical thinking leads to disaster," Brown said. "If the federal government, in the legislative branch, can't get it right, then we in California are going to do our part to take care of business here."
Brown's new target is aligned with the standards set by the European Union. Climate researchers and other politicians praised his decision.