California adopts GHG emission legislation
4 October 2006
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill into law that will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the state by 25% by 2020.
Assembly Bill (AB) 32 requires the California Air Resources Board (ARB) to develop regulations and market mechanisms that will ultimately reduce California’s GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, an estimated 25% reduction. Mandatory caps will begin in 2012 for significant sources and ratchet down to meet the 2020 goals.
In the interim, the ARB will begin to measure the greenhouse gas emissions of the industries it determines as significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions.
Specifically, AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, requires ARB to:
- Establish a statewide greenhouse gas emissions cap for 2020, based on 1990 emissions by January 1, 2008.
- Adopt mandatory reporting rules for significant sources of greenhouse gases by January 1, 2009.
- Adopt a plan by January 1, 2009 indicating how emission reductions will be achieved from significant greenhouse gas sources via regulations, market mechanisms and other actions.
- Adopt regulations by January 1, 2011 to achieve the maximum technologically feasible and cost-effective reductions in greenhouse gas, including provisions for using both market mechanisms and alternative compliance mechanisms.
- Convene an Environmental Justice Advisory Committee and an Economic and Technology Advancement Advisory Committee to advise ARB.
- Prior to imposing any mandates or authorizing market mechanisms, ARB must evaluate several factors, including, among others, the impacts on California’s economy, the environment and public health.
Because of its massive economy, California is the 12th largest emitter of carbon in the world.