California ARB releases proposed new plan to cut 2030 GHG by 40% v. 1990; more stringent LCFS, more ZEVs
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) released the proposed scoping plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2030—the most ambitious target in North America. (Earlier post.) The plan builds on the state’s efforts to reduce emissions and outlines the most effective ways to reach the 2030 goal, including continuing California’s Cap-and-Trade Program.
Achieving the 2030 target under the proposed plan will continue to build on investments in clean energy and set the California economy on a trajectory to achieving an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
For the past decade, California has been reducing emissions through a series of actions, innovative solutions and advances in technology. These include cleaner, more fuel-efficient cars and zero emission vehicles, low-carbon fuels, renewable energy, waste diversion from landfills, water conservation, improvements to energy efficiency in homes and businesses, and a Cap-and-Trade Program.
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 specific measures needed to reach the target.
The first Scoping Plan required by Assembly Bill 32 (AB 32) was adopted in 2008. Under that plan, California set in place a range of effective programs to slash greenhouse gases from cars, trucks, fuels, industry and electrical generation. The State is well on its way to achieving the goal of AB 32—to reach 1990 levels of greenhouse gases by 2020.
The newly released proposed 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 (Pavley).
The proposed plan continues the Cap-and-Trade Program through 2030 and includes a new approach to reduce greenhouse gases from refineries by 20%. The key programs that the Proposed Plan builds on include the Cap-and-Trade Regulation (continued through 2030), the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, and much cleaner cars, trucks and freight movement, powering the State off of cleaner renewable energy, and strategies to reduce methane emissions from agricultural and other wastes. It also comprehensively addresses for the first time the greenhouse gas emissions from natural and working lands of California—including the agriculture and forestry sectors.
Achieving the 2030 goal 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 renewable energy, 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; and an increased focus on integrated land-use planning to support livable, transit-connected communities.
The major elements of the framework proposed in this new Scoping Plan are:
SB350. Achieve 50% Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) by 2030; doubling of energy efficiency savings by 2030.
Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). Increased stringency (reducing carbon intensity 18% by 2030, up from 10% in 2020).
Mobile Source Strategy (Cleaner Technology and Fuels Scenario). Maintaining existing GHG standards for light- and heavy-duty vehicles; put 4.2 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) on the roads; increase ZEV buses, delivery and other trucks.
Sustainable Freight Action Plan. Improve freight system efficiency; maximize use of near-zero emission vehicles and equipment powered by renewable energy; deploy more than 100,000 zero-emission trucks and equipment by 2030.
Short-Lived Climate Pollutant (SLCP) Reduction Strategy. Reduce emissions of methane and hydrofluorocarbons 40% below 2013 levels by 2030; reduce emissions of black carbon 50% below 2013 levels by 2030.
SB375 Sustainable Communities Strategies. Increased stringency of 2035 targets.
Post-2020 Cap-and-Trade Program. Declining caps, continued linkage with Québec, and linkage to Ontario, Canada. CARB will look for opportunities to strengthen the program to support more air quality co-benefits, including specific program design elements. In Fall 2016, ARB staff described potential future amendments including reducing the offset usage limit, redesigning the allocation strategy to reduce free allocation to support increased technology and energy investment at covered entities and reducing allocation if the covered entity increases criteria or toxics emissions over some baseline.
20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the refinery sector.
By 2018, develop Integrated Natural and Working Lands Action Plan to secure California’s land base as a net carbon sink.
The proposed plan, which follows the release of a discussion draft in December, analyzes the potential economic impacts of different policy scenarios, including a carbon tax, and calculates the benefit to society of taking actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The plan also includes the estimated range of greenhouse gas, criteria pollutant and toxic pollutant emissions reductions of each measure.
The analysis in the plan finds that Cap-and-Trade is the lowest cost, most efficient policy approach and provides certainty that the state will meet the 2030 goals even if other measures fall short. The Cap-and-Trade Program funds the California Climate Investments program, which provides funds for community, local, regional and statewide projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, with at least 35% of proceeds invested in disadvantaged and low-income communities. To date, a total of $3.4 billion in cap-and-trade funds have been appropriated for the California Climate Investments program.
The proposed plan was developed by CARB staff over the past 18 months working with multiple State agencies and departments. This effort was guided by legislation and reflects input from dozens of public workshops and community meetings, and input from CARB’s Environmental Justice Advisory Committee and many other stakeholders.
The first of three public hearings on the proposed plan will be held at the regularly scheduled Board meeting on 27 January 2017. The California Air Resources Board is slated to hold workshops in February and hear an update at the 16 February Board meeting.
The Final 2017 Scoping Plan Update will be released in late March and be considered for approval by the Board in late April.