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newsrel -- CARB approves cap-and-trade improvements

Posted: 27 Jul 2017 12:57:39
Please consider the following news release from the California
Air Resources Board:



July 27, 2017



Stanley Young
(916) 956-9409 cell
(916) 322-2990 office

CARB approves cap-and-trade improvements

Changes include program improvements, linking with Ontario

SACRAMENTO – Following more than 18 months of review and public
comment, the California Air Resources Board today approved
amendments to the state’s cap-and-trade program that improve its
implementation and the state’s effort to curb greenhouse gas
emissions. Today’s amendments also establish a framework for the
program’s annual limits on greenhouse gas emissions beyond 2020,
to be revised in a subsequent, public rulemaking process to
reflect the requirements of AB 398.

“These amendments build upon the existing, effective design to
further support California businesses and strengthen our capacity
to cut air pollution in the communities where it is needed most,”
said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. “We look forward to continued
collaboration with the many, diverse stakeholders who came
together to pass AB 398 as we work to ensure its equitable,
thoughtful implementation.” 

Today’s Board action includes adopting amendments have been in
development since late 2015, and were first heard by the Board in
September 2016. The amendments include linking with Ontario,
which launched its own cap-and-trade program earlier this year.
The Canadian province is expected to link with California’s
program in 2018, becoming the second jurisdiction to join
California following Quebec in 2014. Additionally, the Oregon
legislature is considering a measure to establish a cap-and-trade
system that is compatible with California’s.  

Other amendments adopted by the Board address how carbon
allowances are allocated to prevent economic and emissions
“leakage” (i.e., the risk that an industry would move operations
out of state due to competitive disadvantage) and streamline
other requirements of the current program. 

This week, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed a legislative
package extending the cap-and-trade program through 2030 (AB 398)
and establishing a new program to improve air quality in local
communities (AB 617). The legislation helps ensure California
continues to meet its ambitious climate change goals while
addressing air pollution in communities with the dirtiest air.  

CARB will begin its new rulemaking process later this year to
implement the requirements of AB 398 and reflect the
Legislature’s direction in extending the program through 2030.

“By acting today, the board ensures the seamless operation of the
cap-and-trade program while we continue to move ahead on the
changes that AB 398 require that we make,” Nichols said during
today’s hearing.

In addition to the AB 398 rulemaking process, CARB is also
beginning to work with stakeholders on the implementation of AB
617. AB 617 directs CARB to work with local air districts on the
deployment of community-focused air quality monitoring networks,
as well as the development and implementation of community
emission reduction plans in the neighborhoods most burdened by
poor air quality.   

Cap-and-trade is a market-based regulation that is designed to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions from multiple sources in the most
cost effective way possible. The declining statewide cap on
emissions ensures California will meet its emission reduction
goals, while trading puts a price on carbon and creates economic
incentives for investments in clean technologies and clean

California’s cap-and-trade program, which began in 2013, is part
of a suite of policy tools originally designed to achieve the
goal of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB
32), which is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels
by 2020. California is on track to achieve its 2020 goal. Last
year, Governor Brown signed SB 32, which sets a goal of reducing
emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, the most
ambitious goal in North America.

Through the cap-and-trade program, the state has launched
California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts
billions of dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions,
strengthening the economy and improving public health and the
environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities. California
Climate Investments projects include affordable housing,
renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles,
environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture,
recycling and much more. At least 35 percent of these investments
are made in disadvantaged and low-income communities. 

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