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Could California go Zero-Emissions by 2050?

Could California go Zero-Emissions by 2050?

Norway’s goal of electrifying all short-haul flights in 22 years is a pittance compared to this – a green NGO believes California can be emissions-free by 2050.

The goal is part of the “Right to Zero” campaign from the ominous-sounding “Earthjustice” group, the “premier nonprofit environmental law organization” which wields “the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change.”

In other words, they’re litigious. And they’ll sue your pants off to change your mind.

Of course, all the major auto manufacturers have ambitious (but attainable) electric goals for the near-future, and all of their electrified creations will find their way to the most progressive state in the country. California is ideal for electric air taxi services, and the state isn’t afraid to legislate environmental progress.

But zero emissions? Safeopedia defines it as “a vehicle, automobile, or engine of any kind which produces no atmospheric pollutants.” So just converting all vehicles to electric isn’t enough, since over 1/3 of all electricity generated in this country is from coal power plants. We’d need fundamental, societal change, and given the specific NGO at the tip of the spear, ample lawsuits and unprecedented legislation.

Earlier this year, an attorney for Earthjustice noted that “When we started this campaign, we thought the hard part would be convincing folks that, one, we need to move to zero emissions and, two, that we could even contemplate doing it.” Yes, it is strange to quote a lawyer on these matters.

But "It's not science fiction," said the same lawyer more recently. "It's happening now. We have transit agencies up and down the state who are committing to convert to zero-emissions buses. We have the ports of L.A. and Long Beach committing to convert all of their port equipment and trucks with zero-emissions technology."

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