LOS ANGELES, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- California officials Thursday approved a plan to cut the state's greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent by 2020.
The California Air Resources Board unanimously voted in favor of the plan to cut emissions in virtually all sectors of the economy, including electricity, automobiles and waste disposal, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Mary Nichols, the head of the state Air Resources Board, said the plan could "transform our economy and put us on the road to a healthier state."
"The task of coping with global warming is not something California can do alone and not something that will be finished in 2020," Nichols said. "It is something our children and grandchildren will have to cope with as well."
However, Nichols said if the state follows the plan it will be "on the right track to transform our economy in a way that is good for our environment, for our health, for our future."
As global greenhouse gas emissions grow beyond most predictions, California emissions are on a pace to increase by 30 percent by 2020 over 1990 levels, the newspaper said. The trend is expected to result in water shortages, more wildfires, rising sea levels along the coast and worsening air pollution during heat waves, the newspaper said.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger endorsed the plan approved Thursday, despite the economic slowdown.
"The green rules and regulations that will help save our planet will also revive our economies," Schwarzenegger said in a message to international climate negotiators who are meeting in Poland.