California to ban gas furnaces and heaters by 2030

First US state to do so amid a slew of progressive measures to tackle climate crisis

Louise Boyle
Senior Climate Correspondent, New York
Friday 23 September 2022 18:39 BST
Gov. Newsom addresses power grid concerns

California is set to ban the sale of gas-powered furnaces and water heaters by 2030.

It will be the first US state to do so amid a slew of progressive measures to tackle the climate crisis by cutting planet-heating emissions, largely caused by burning fossil fuels.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) unanimously approved the proposal for zero-emission residential and commercial space and water heaters on Thursday. The measure is part of a larger plan to transition the state away from fossil fuels and to renewable power and other sources of clean energy.

“Beginning in 2030, 100 percent of sales of new space heaters and water heaters would need to comply with the emission standard,” the 2022 statewide strategy stated, adding that CARB will work with communities on the potential housing costs and affordability impacts.

The strategy doesn’t address gas stoves and cookers but dozens of Californian cities have adopted rules to ban or make it more difficult to install the appliances in new buildings.

Nearly 60 per cent of the state’s electricity comes from renewable and zero-carbon sources, according to the California Energy Commission. The state has pledged to have a clean power grid by 2045.

California is providing the blueprint for many US states in the race to cut emissions amid worsening climate impacts. Last month, the Golden State adopted the world’s tightest restrictions on vehicles with all new cars, pickups and SUVs to be electric or hydrogen powered by 2035. Some 17 other states are now considering whether to follow suit.

President Joe Biden has pledged that the US would cut its domestic carbon footprint in half by 2030 (over 2005 levels).

The newly passed Inflation Reduction Act will make a historic investment in clean energy and other climate measures, and is expected to cut emissions by around 40 per cent by 2030.

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