SACRAMENTO-The California Air Resources Board charted a course today to reduce California's greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent over the next 12 years.
The measures and policies in the Climate Change Draft Scoping Plan set California on a trajectory toward a clean-energy future. The recommended reduction measures will continue to drive innovation, improve the environment and enhance public health, support the growth of the cleantech sector and create thousands of new jobs.
"With the release of this draft scoping plan, California is once again blazing a trail to lead other states and the nation to address climate change," said Mary Nichols, Chairman of the Air Resources Board. "Our economy and our society face no greater threat than global warming. This draft plan is the roadmap to move us quickly to a cleaner, more sustainable future, energy independence and a healthier environment. This plan fulfills the Governor's determination to act now, and it is based on the conviction that Californians will rise to the challenge and develop creative solutions to improve our environment and grow our economy."
Development of the Scoping Plan is a central requirement of AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Nuñez, Pavley), that calls on California to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Governor Schwarzenegger signed the bill into law in September 2006. Release of the draft plan will be followed by further evaluation and economic modeling, and workshops are planned throughout the state to present the details to the general public allow ARB to hear public comments.
The comprehensive approach includes both new and existing measures in every sector of California's economy. It is designed with strong elements of enforcement and developed to ensure that emissions - and all reductions --are accurately tracked.
Central to the draft plan is a cap and trade program covering 85 percent of the state's emissions. This program will be developed in conjunction with the Western Climate Initiative (http://www.westernclimateinitiative.org/), comprised of seven states and three Canadian provinces, to create a regional carbon market.
The draft plan also proposes that utilities produce a third of their energy from renewable sources such as wind, solar and geothermal, and proposes to expand and strengthen existing energy efficiency programs and building and appliance standards that have already saved Californians more than $50 billion over the past 30 years in reduced costs for energy.
The draft plan calls for full implementation of the California Clean Car law (the Pavley standards) to provide a wide range of less polluting and more efficient cars and trucks to consumers who will save on operating costs through reduced fuel use. It also calls for development and implementation of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (http://gov.ca.gov/index.php?/issue/env-lcfs/)which will require oil companies to make cleaner domestically produced fuels.
The draft plan encourages improvements to the ways we grow and build our communities to make more livable, walkable cities, and shorten commutes.
Several additional initiatives and measures play important roles in reaching the required reductions under AB 32. These include:
Under the plan the State of California is committing to reducing its own carbon
footprint by 30 percent. It also calls on Californians to make changes to their personal behavior to reduce their
carbon footprint through carpooling and simple actions such as adjusting thermostats to use less energy for heating
ARB invites public comment on the draft plan. Once the final draft is prepared, it will go to the Board for consideration in November. After adoption of the plan, all measures in the plan will be thoroughly vetted and analyzed, with full public input, over the next two years as they move through the regulatory process.
Preliminary economic modeling of the plan indicates that the overall savings from improved efficiency and the development of alternatives to petroleum will on the whole outweigh the costs. The draft plan recommends targeted fees to fund the state's long-term commitment to AB 32 administration.
The draft plan can be viewed at: www.arb.ca.gov
The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards. http://www.arb.ca.gov