California would target certain harmful emissions under new legislation being introduced by state Sen. Ricardo Lara in an effort to boost public health while battling global warming.
Known as short-lived climate pollutants, the emissions include diesel exhaust and methane from agriculture. Focusing on these pollutants has been a key topic of conversation at the United Nations summit on climate change because they’re considered a way to make quick progress toward reducing greenhouse gases while providing a clear health benefit.
Lara (D-Bell Gardens) said he worked on the targets with the California Air Resources Board, which has been studying the issue.
“These are goals that are aggressive, and yet obtainable,” he said. Lara said tackling the pollutants could help show progress against emissions that cause climate change, citing the example of his working-class mother.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation from Lara last year that directed the air board to develop a strategy for short-lived climate pollutants.
“I think it’s very important we don’t lose sight of how important, how beneficial, and how immediate this particular challenge and opportunity is,” he said on Tuesday during an event at the climate summit here.