Tuesday, November 18, 2008

California AB 32 Scoping Plan Moves Forward

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) will meet on Nov. 20 to discuss the AB 32 Scoping Plan as mandated by the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. The Nov. 20 meeting includes one of the first opportunities for public testimony.

The effort aims at reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, which equates to an approximate emission reduction of 30 percent, and then an 80 percent reduction below 1990 levels by 2050. Governor Schwarzenegger signed the bill into law in September 2006. Key elements include:

• Expanding and strengthening existing energy efficiency programs and building and appliance standards;
• Obtaining 33 percent of California's electricity from renewables;
• Developing a California cap-and-trade program that links with other Western Climate Initiative partner programs to create a regional market system;
• Establishing targets for transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions for regions throughout California, and pursuing policies and incentives to achieve those targets;
• Adopting and implementing measures pursuant to existing state laws and policies, including California's clean car standards, goods movement measures, and the Low Carbon Fuel Standard; and
• Creating targeted fees, including a public goods charge on water use, fees on high global warming potential gases, and a fee to fund the administrative costs of the state's long-term commitment to AB 32 implementation.

Additional strategies for making these reductions are outlined in the Climate Change Proposed Scoping Plan. The next public meeting will begin on Dec. 11. More information regarding the California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board as it pertains to AB 32 can be found here.

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