AB 32 Scoping Plan

This page last reviewed July 13, 2015

Assembly Bill 32 (AB 32) required the California Air Resources Board (ARB or Board) to develop a Scoping Plan that describes the approach California will take to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) to achieve the goal of reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The Scoping Plan was first considered by the Board in 2008 and must be updated every five years. The Board approved the First Update to the Climate Change Scoping Plan on May 22, 2014.

Scoping Plan Update



  • June: Kickoff Public Workshop
  • June/July: Regional Workshops
  • Oct. 1: Release Discussion Draft
  • Oct. 15: Public Workshop
  • Oct. 24: Board Update


AB 32 Scoping Plan Update

The Scoping Plan Update (Update) builds upon the initial Scoping Plan with new strategies and recommendations.  The Update identifies opportunities to leverage existing and new funds to further drive GHG emission reductions through strategic planning and targeted low carbon investments.  The Update defines ARB’s climate change priorities for the next five years and sets the groundwork to reach California's long-term climate goals set forth in Executive Orders S-3-05 and B-16-2012. The Update highlights California’s progress toward meeting the near-term 2020 GHG emission reduction goals defined in the initial Scoping Plan.  These efforts put California on course to achieve the near-term 2020 goal, and have created a framework for ongoing climate action that can be built upon to maintain and continue economic sector-specific reductions beyond 2020, as required by AB 32.

What are the key focus areas in the Update?

In this Update, nine key focus areas were identified (energy, transportation, agriculture, water, waste management, and natural and working lands), along with short-lived climate pollutants, green buildings, and the cap-and-trade program. 

These key focus areas have overlapping and complementary interests that will require careful coordination in California’s future climate and energy policies. These focus areas were selected to address issues that underlie multiple sectors of the economy.  As such, each focus area is not contained to a single economic sector, but has far-reaching impacts within many economic sectors.

What is the status of AB 32 implementation?

The California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32) has been implemented effectively with a suite of complementary strategies that serve as a model going forward.  California is on target for meeting the 2020 GHG emission reduction goal.  Many of the GHG reduction measures (e.g., Low Carbon Fuel Standard, Advanced Clean Car standards, and Cap-and-Trade) have been adopted over the last five years and implementation activities are ongoing.  California is getting real reductions to put us on track for reducing GHG emissions to achieve the AB 32 goal of getting back to 1990 levels by 2020.

Video: AB 32 Now and in the Future


First Update to the Climate Change Scoping Plan (2013 – 2014)

In June 2013, ARB held a kickoff public workshop in Sacramento to discuss the development of the Scoping Plan Update, public process, and overall schedule.   In July 2013, subsequent regional workshops were held in Diamond Bar; Fresno; and the Bay Area, which provided forums to discuss region-specific issues, concerns, and priorities.  In addition, ARB accepted and considered informal stakeholder comments from June 13, 2013 through August 5, 2013.  ARB also reconvened the Environmental Justice Advisory Committee to advise, and provide recommendations on the development of, this Update.  On October 1, 2013, ARB released a discussion draft of the Update to the AB 32 Scoping Plan for public review and comment.  On October 15, 2013, ARB held a public workshop and provided an update to the Board at the October 24, 2013 Board Hearing.  Extensive public comment and input was received at the October Board Hearing.  In addition, over 115 comment letters were submitted on the discussion draft.   

On February 10, 2014, ARB released the draft proposed first update.  On February 20, 2014, ARB held a Board meeting discussion that included opportunities for stakeholder feedback and public comment. On March 14, 2014, ARB released the Appendix F - Environmental Analysis including the 45-day review public notice, Appendix B - Status of Scoping Plan Measures, and Appendix C - Focus Group Working Papers.  On May 15, 2014, ARB released the First Update to the Climate Change Scoping Plan, staff’s written responses to comments received on the Draft EA and the Final EA.  On May 22, 2014, the First Update to the Climate Change Scoping Plan was approved by the Board, along with the finalized environmental documents.

Initial Scoping Plan (2007 – 2008)

The initial AB 32 Scoping Plan contains the main strategies California will use to reduce the greenhouse gases (GHG) that cause climate change. The initial Scoping Plan has a range of GHG reduction actions which include direct regulations, alternative compliance mechanisms, monetary and non-monetary incentives, voluntary actions, market-based mechanisms such as a cap-and-trade system, and an AB 32 program implementation fee regulation to fund the program.  Those initial measures were introduced through four workshops between November 30, 2007 and April 17, 2008. A draft scoping plan was released for public review and comment on June 26, 2008 followed by more workshops in July and August, 2008.  The Proposed Scoping Plan was released on October 15, 2008 and considered at the Board hearing on December 12, 2008.  In August 2011, the initial Scoping Plan was re-approved by the Board, and includes the Final Supplement to the Scoping Plan Functional Equivalent Document.

For questions or comments regarding the Climate Change Scoping Plan, please contact: 

Stephanie Kato

Sara Nichols

Jakub Zielkiewicz

Search Engine:
Please enter the keywords you want to search, and then click on the "Find" button.
Search For:  in