The California Air Resources Board (CARB) released its initial draft plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2030—the most ambitious target in North America. The 2030 Target Scoping Plan Discussion Draft builds on the state’s efforts to reach its more immediate goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and outlines the most effective ways to reach the new 2030 goal, including continuing California’s Cap-and-Trade program.
In his January 2015 inaugural address, California Governor Jerry Brown identified five key climate change strategy “pillars,” which recognize that several major areas of the California economy will need to reduce their emissions to meet California’s ambitious climate change goals. These five pillars are:
Reducing today’s petroleum use in cars and trucks by up to 50%;
Increasing electricity derived from renewable source from one-third to 50%;
Doubling the efficiency savings achieved at existing buildings and making heating fuels cleaner;
Reducing the release of methane, black carbon, and other short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs); and
Managing farm and rangelands, forests and wetlands so they can store carbon.
|Source: 2030 Target Scoping Plan Discussion Draft. Click to enlarge.|
Governor Brown subsequently signed Executive Order B-30-15 in April 2015 establishing a California GHG reduction target of 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. Executive Order B-30-15 also calls on ARB, in coordination with sister agencies, to update the AB 32 Climate Change Scoping Plan to incorporate the 2030 target.
Assembly Bill 32, signed in 2006, set California’s initial goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and directed CARB to develop a climate change scoping plan—to be updated every five years—detailing the specific measures needed to reach the target. The new draft plan, required by the Governor’s April 2015 Executive Order, updates the previous scoping plan to account for the new 2030 target codified in Senate Bill 32 and reflects input from 18 public workshops and community meetings, numerous state government agencies and CARB’s Environmental Justice Advisory Committee.
The draft plan analyzes continuing the Cap-and-Trade program, which is currently being used to reach the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals. The analysis shows how Cap-and-Trade provides more certainty that the state will meet the 2030 goals even if other measures fall short.
The Cap-and-Trade program funds the California Climate Change Investments program, which provides funds for community, local, regional and statewide projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions—with at least 35% of proceeds to be invested in disadvantaged communities. To date, approximately $3.4 billion has been invested.
The draft plan also includes two alternative strategies—one that relies on more direct regulations, and one that includes a carbon tax.
All of the strategies propose direct greenhouse gas reductions at oil refineries to improve air quality in California, particularly in disadvantaged communities historically located adjacent to these large stationary sources of emissions.
To achieve the 2030 goal—under any scenario—will require contributions from all sectors of the economy and will include enhanced focus on zero- and near-zero emission vehicle technologies; continued investment in renewables, including solar and wind; greater use of low-carbon fuels; integrated land conservation and development strategies; coordinated efforts to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants, which include methane, black carbon and fluorinated gases; an increased focus on integrated land use planning to support livable, transit-connected communities and conservation of agricultural and other lands.
Transportation. The transportation sector is the largest emitter of GHG emissions in California, and is projected to continue to grow as the state’s population increases to 50 million people by 2050 from about 39.1 million people currently.
Through effective policy design, the State has an opportunity to guide technology transformation and influence investment decisions with a view to mitigate climate and environmental impacts while promoting economic opportunities and community health and safety. The network of transportation technology and infrastructure, in turn, shapes and is shaped by development and land use patterns that can either support or detract from a more sustainable, low-carbon, multi-modal transportation future. Strategies to reduce GHG emissions from the transportation sector, therefore, must actively address not only infrastructure and technology, but also coordinated strategies to achieve development, conservation, and land use patterns that align with the State’s GHG and other policy goals.
… While the majority of the GHG reductions from the transportation sector in this Discussion Draft will come from technologies and low carbon fuels, a reduction in the growth of VMT is also needed. VMT reductions are necessary to achieve the 2030 target and must be part of any strategy evaluated in this plan. Stronger SB 375 GHG reduction targets will enable the State to make significant progress towards this goal, but alone will not provide all of the VMT growth reductions that will be needed. There is a gap between what SB 375 can provide and what is needed to meet the State’s 2030 and 2050 goals. More needs to be done through continued land use changes, synergies with emerging mobility solutions like ridesourcing, and changes in travel behavior, especially among millennials.—2030 Target Scoping Plan Discussion Draft
CARB will release another update to this plan in January 2017 following a December 2016 workshop which will include detailed economic and environmental analyses and document the social cost of carbon, and the range of greenhouse gas, criteria pollutant and toxic pollutant emission reductions from each proposed measure in the plan as required by Assembly Bill 197—companion legislation to Senate Bill 32. The plan is expected to be finalized for consideration in Spring 2017.