California ARB Approves Early Action Measures on GHG Emissions: Low-Carbon Fuel Standard, Mobile Air Conditioning, and Methane Capture
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) on Thursday approved three early action measures to address climate change emissions as set forth in the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32). (Earlier post.)
The early actions include three specific greenhouse gas control rules that are to be adopted and enforced before January 1, 2010, along with 32 other climate-protecting measures the Board is developing between now and 2011. Early actions fall into three categories:
Group 1: GHG rules for immediate adoption and implementation
Group 2: Several additional GHG measures under development
Group 3: Air pollution controls with potential climate co-benefits
The three adopted regulations are in the Group 1 category. They are:
The Governor’s Low-Carbon Fuel Standard to reduce the carbon intensity in California fuels by 10% by 2020;
Reduction of refrigerant losses from motor vehicle air conditioning system maintenance by restricting the sale of “do-it-yourself” automotive refrigerants; and
Increased methane capture from landfills—requiring broader use of state-of-the-art methane capture technologies.
ARB staff estimates that the combination of these three actions will reduce GHG emissions between 13 and 26 million metric tons (of) carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2E) annually by 2020 relative to projected levels.
ARB is initiating work on another 23 GHG emission reduction measures in the 2007- 2009 time period, with rulemaking to occur as soon as possible where applicable. The approval of the first three measures does not restrict the Board from making additions to the early actions list.
Of the three measures, the greatest reductions will come from the Low-Carbon Fuel Standard—an estimated 10-20 MMTCO2E annually by 2020. Reduction of HFC-134a emissions from nonprofessional servicing of motor vehicle air conditioning systems (MVACs) will contribute 1-2 MMTCO2E by 2020, and improved methane capture at landfills will contribute 2-4 MMTCO2E.
The California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 mandates that California’s greenhouse gas emissions be reduced to 1990 levels by 2020, a 25% percent cut in emissions compared to business as usual. ARB must adopt a comprehensive blueprint for achieving that goal by the end of 2008 and complete the necessary rulemaking to implement that plan by the end of 2011.
Early Actions for Climate Change Mitigation in California (ARB Staff presentation)