The executive order issued by California Governor Edmund Brown calls for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the state by 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.

Brown said: "With this order, California sets a very high bar for itself and other states and nations, but it’s one that must be reached – for this generation and generations to come."

California has already set a goal to cut greenhouse emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, and a long-term target to cut the emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.

The order aligns with the scientifically established levels required to limit global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, the warming threshold which would lead to major climate disruptions, a statement from the governor’s office said.

Previously this year, Brown has announced that California will increase the share of renewable sources in its energy mix, from the current 30% to 50% by 2030.

The state seeks to reduce petroleum use in cars and trucks by up to 50%; double the efficiency savings from existing buildings and make heating fuels cleaner; reduce the release of methane, black carbon and other potent pollutants across industries; and manage farm and rangelands, forests and wetlands to store carbon.

World Bank Group president Jim Yong Kim: "Four consecutive years of exceptional drought has brought home the harsh reality of rising global temperatures to the communities and businesses of California.

"There can be no substitute for aggressive national targets to reduce harmful greenhouse emissions, but the decision today by Governor Brown to set a 40% reduction target for 2030 is an example of climate leadership that others must follow."