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California AB32 Summary

June 2013

Summary: CA has the most vigorous and comprehensive GHG reduction strategy of any state. CA will hopefully set an example that other progressive states (and British Columbia) will follow. Given the power of vested interests, it is somewhat impressive how much green legislation has passed in CA. Imagine what it is like to be a member in most less climate-friendly states. However, CA still doesn't move fast enough.

AB32 SUMMARY, notes from:

Since 2006, ARB (CA Air Resources Board) has been implementing the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32). Many of the GHG reduction measures (e.g. low carbon fuel standard, advanced clean car standards, cap-and-trade) have been adopted over the last five years and implementation activities have already begun. California is getting real reductions to put us on track for reducing GHGs to achieve the AB 32 goal of getting back to 1990 levels by 2020.

The original AB 32 Scoping Plan (2008) contains the main strategies California will use to reduce the greenhouse gases (GHG) that cause climate change. The original 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 regulation to fund the program.

2013 Update to AB 32 Scoping Plan
The 2013 AB 32 Scoping Plan update will define ARB's climate change priorities for the next five years and lay the groundwork to reach post-2020 goals set forth in Executive Orders S-3-05 and B-16-2012. The update will highlight California's progress toward meeting the "near-term" 2020 GHG emission reduction goals defined in the original Scoping Plan (2008). It will also evaluate how to align the State's longer-term GHG reduction strategies with other State policy priorities, such as for water, waste, natural resources, clean energy and transportation, and land use.

To address the State's near-term and longer-term GHG goals, the update will have both a 2020 element and the post-2020 element. The 2020 element will focus on State, regional, and local initiatives that are being implemented now to assist us in meeting the 2020 goal. The post-2020 element will provide a high level view of a long-term strategy for meeting the 2050 GHG goals. ARB plans to focus on five key topics areas for the post-2020 element. These include: 1) transportation, fuels, and infrastructure; 2) energy generation, transmission, and efficiency; 3) waste; 4) water; 5) agriculture; and 6) natural resources.

What activities are planned for 2013? A Kick-off workshop is planned for Sacramento on June 13th. Additional regional workshops are planned for June 26th in Diamond Bar; Early-July in the Bay Area; and July 18th in Fresno. Details will follow shortly. In mid-August 2013, ARB expects to release a preliminary draft of the 2013 update to the AB 32 Scoping Plan report for public review and comment. In November 2013, ARB expects to bring an updated Scoping Plan document to the Board for consideration.



List of Emissions Reduction Measures explained in pages 27-67:
1. Cap & Trade Program Linked to Western Climate Initiative
2. California Light Duty Vehicle GHG Standards
3. Energy Efficiency
4. Renewables Portfolio Standard
5. Low Carbon Fuel Standard
6. Regional Transportation GHG Targets.
7. Vehicle Efficiency Measures
8. Goods Movement
9. Million Solar Roofs Program
10. Medium/Heavy Duty Vehicles
11. Industrial Emissions
12. High Speed Rail
13. Green Building Strategy
14. High Global Warming Potential Gases
15. Recycling and Waste
16. Sustainable Forests
17. Water
18. Agriculture


Transportation GHG is a function of [technology, fuels, vehicle use]. AB 1493 increases MPG. The Low-Carbon Fuel Standard reduces GHG per gallon consumed. SB375 and RHNA reduce vehicle use.

Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA): The State Housing and Community Development (HCD) Department requires regions to forecast future population growth. HCD approves each regional forecast and then requires regions to allocate the growth among individual cities. In their allocation, the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) pursues goals such as minimizing traffic congestion, pollution, and global warming. ABAG is an organization that represents Bay Area city governments (101 cities). Cities are required by state law to update their Comprehensive Plans and Housing Elements to plan for the allocated future population growth. Some cities (Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and Saratoga) squawk at being asked to add new residents to help minimize regional GHG.

State Senate Bill 375 (SB375) builds on AB32 by adding the nation's first law to control greenhouse gas emissions by curbing sprawl and linking land use to climate protection. The state's press release states: "Californians need to rethink how we design our communities. SB 375 does this by providing emissions-reduction goals around which regions can plan - integrating disjointed planning activities and providing incentives for local governments and developers to follow new conscientiously-planned growth patterns. ARB (California state Air Resources Board) will also work with California's 18 metropolitan planning organizations to align their regional transportation, housing and land-use plans and prepare a ‘sustainable communities strategy' to reduce the amount of vehicle miles traveled in their respective regions and demonstrate the region's ability to attain its greenhouse gas reduction targets. Spending less time on the road is the single-most powerful way for California to reduce its carbon footprint."

With SB375 and RHNA, the idea is to maximize apartments, condos, jobs, and retail by train stations and to minimize sprawl.

In the Bay Area, the 2040 Plan Bay Area reduces vehicle use. (big doc: ).