Assembly Bill 32: Global Warming Solutions Act
2006, the Legislature passed and Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 32,
the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which set the 2020 greenhouse
gas emissions reduction goal into law. It directed the
Air Resources Board (ARB
) to begin developing discrete early
actions to reduce greenhouse gases while also preparing a scoping plan
to identify how best to reach the 2020 limit. The reduction
to meet the 2020 target are to be adopted by the
start of 2011.
Assembly Bill 32 Includes a Number of Specific Requirements:
shall prepare and approve a scoping plan for achieving the maximum
technologically feasible and cost-effective reductions in greenhouse
gas emissions from sources or categories of sources of greenhouse gases
by 2020 (Health and Safety Code (HSC) §38561).
The scoping plan, approved by the ARB
Board December 12, 2008, provides
the outline for actions to reduce greenhouse gases in California.
The approved scoping plan indicates
these emission reductions will be achieved from
significant greenhouse gas sources via regulations, market mechanisms
the statewide level of greenhouse gas emissions in 1990 to serve as the
emissions limit to be achieved by 2020 (HSC §38550).
In December 2007, the Board approved
the 2020 emission limit of 427 million
metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2E) of greenhouse gases.
- Adopt a
regulation requiring the mandatory reporting of greenhouse gas
emissions (HSC §38530).
In December 2007, the Board adopted a regulation requiring the
largest industrial sources to report
their greenhouse gas
emissions. The reporting regulation serves as a
solid foundation to determine greenhouse gas emissions and track future
changes in emission levels.
- Identify and
adopt regulations for discrete early actions that could be enforceable
on or before January 1, 2010 (HSC §38560.5). The
Board identified nine discrete early
action measures including regulations affecting landfills, motor vehicle fuels,
refrigerants in cars, tire pressure, port operations and
other sources in 2007 that included ship electrification at ports and
reduction of high GWP gases in consumer products.
(Note: Additional regulatory implementation for the
remaining measures is ongoing)
a regulation that establishes a system of market-based declining annual
aggregate emission limits for sources or categories of sources that
emit greenhouse gas emissions, applicable from January 1, 2012, to
December 31, 2020 (HSC §38562(c)). In 2011, the Board adopted the cap-and-trade regulation. The cap-and-trade program
covers major sources of GHG emissions in the State such as refineries,
power plants, industrial facilities, and transportation fuels.
The cap-and-trade program includes an enforceable emissions cap that
will decline over time. The State will distribute allowances,
which are tradable permits, equal to the emissions allowed under the
cap. Sources under the cap will need to surrender allowances and
offsets equal to their emissions atthe end of each compliance period.
an Environmental Justice Advisory Committee (EJAC) to advise the Board
in developing the Scoping Plan and any other pertinent matter in
implementing AB 32 (HSC §38591). The EJAC
has met 12 times
since early 2007, providing comments on the proposed early action
measures and the development of the scoping plan, and submitted its
comments and recommendations on
the scoping plan in October
ARB will continue to work with the EJAC as AB 32 is
an Economic and Technology Advancement Advisory Committee (ETAAC) to
provide recommendations for technologies, research and greenhouse gas
emission reduction measures (HSC §38591). After
year-long public process, The ETAAC
submitted a report of their
recommendations to the Board in February 2008. The ETAAC also
and provided comments on the scoping plan.
AB 32 Timeline
- By Jan 1, 2009
- ARB adopts plan indicating how emission reductions will be achieved
from significant sources of GHGs via regulations, market mechanisms and
- During 2009
- ARB staff drafts rule language to implement its plan and holds a
series of public workshop on each measure (including market mechanisms).
- By Jan 1, 2010
- Early action measures take effect.
- During 2010
- ARB conducts series of rulemakings, after workshops and public
hearings, to adopt GHG regulations including rules governing market
- By Jan 1, 2011
- ARB completes major rulemakings for reducing GHGs including market
mechanisms. ARB may revise the rules and adopt new ones after 1/1/2011
in furtherance of the 2020 cap.
- By Jan 1, 2012
- GHG rules and market mechanisms adopted by ARB take effect and are
- December 31,
2020 - Deadline for achieving 2020 GHG emissions cap.