|GHG reductions from the transportation sector account for the largest sectoral reduction in the ARB Scoping Plan. Click to enlarge.|
The California Air Resources Board released its Climate Change Draft Scoping Plan that outlines a course to reduce California’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30% over the next 12 years. Specifically targeted transportation reductions are 60.2 MMTCO2e (million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent), or 35.6% of the total currently specified reduction.
On the transportation side, the draft plan calls for full implementation of the California Clean Car law (the Pavley standards, including the next-stage Pavley II standards), currently held up by the absence of the requisite EPA waiver. It also calls for development and implementation of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard.
ARB projects that full implementation of the light-duty vehicle GHG standards will result in a reduction of 31.7 MMTCO2e in 2020; implementation of the LCFS will result in a reduction of 16.5 MMTCO2e. Combined, the 48.2 MMTCO2e reduction from these two primary transportation policies represents 28.5% of the total targeted reductions of 169 MMTCO2e.
Other transportation sector initiatives include:
Further vehicle efficiency measures, such as measures to ensure proper tire inflation, use of lower friction oil and reduction of air conditioner use. (4.8 MMTCO2e);
Improvements in goods movement, including ship electrification in port and system-wide efficiency improvements (3.7 MMTCO2e);
Heavy-duty vehicle efficiency and GHG reduction and medium- and heavy-duty vehicle hybridization (2.5 MMTCO2e); and
High speed rail (1 MMTCO2e).
Other possible transportation sector measures lumped into a general category of “Other measures under evaluation” include:
Feebates: A feebate regulation would combine a rebate program for low-emitting vehicles with a fee program for high-emitting vehicles. As noted below, if California is unable to implement the Pavley regulations, this program could be adjusted to obtain the foregone emission reductions.
Pay-As-You-Drive (PAYD): In Pay-As-You-Drive (PAYD) programs insurance premiums are set based on driving record and other traditional risk factors, but are broken down into per-mile charges.
Indirect Source Rules for New Development: “Indirect source” rules are designed to address air pollutant emissions associated with residential and commercial developments. These developments attract traffic and result in other indirect emissions. For example, research shows that low-density development located distant from employment centers and other destinations has a high transportation carbon footprint. Adoption of regional indirect source rules could provide reductions in greenhouse gases through better project design and mitigation of emission impacts.
Public Education and Programs to Reduce Vehicle Travel.
The implementation of the Pavley light-duty vehicle GHG reductions clearly is a central component of the scoping plan. Although ARB believes that “it is highly likely” that it will ultimately be permitted to implement the Pavley regulations, the law also specifically states that if the Pavley regulations do not remain in effect, ARB shall implement alternative regulations to control mobile sources to achieve equivalent or greater greenhouse gas reductions.
ARB currently plans to pursue one of two possible strategies to “backstop” the Pavley regulations if they cannot be implemented.
Requiring automakers to meet the equivalent of the emission reductions expected under the current Pavley regulations as a condition of vehicle certification in California. Before vehicles could be certified for sale in California, the OEM would need to submit verified greenhouse gas emission reductions from mobile sources equivalent to those of the Pavley reductions.
This obligation would cover the life of the current regulations, from model year 2009 through 2016, and would also need to replace the anticipated reductions from the second phase of the Pavley regulations.
A feebate proposal in which fees on the purchase of high greenhouse gas emitting vehicles would be returned as rebates to buyers of low greenhouse gas emitting vehicles. The fee schedule would need to be designed to obtain cumulative emission reductions equivalent to those that would have been achieved under the Pavley regulations.
Development of the Scoping Plan is a central requirement of AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Nuñez, Pavley), that calls on California to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Governor Schwarzenegger signed the bill into law in September 2006. Release of the draft plan will be followed by further evaluation and economic modeling, and workshops are planned throughout the state to present the details to the general public allow ARB to hear public comments.
Central to the draft plan is a cap and trade program covering 85% of the state’s emissions. This program will be developed in conjunction with the Western Climate Initiative, comprising seven states and three Canadian provinces, to create a regional carbon market.
The draft plan also proposes that utilities produce a third of their energy from renewable sources such as wind, solar and geothermal, and proposes to expand and strengthen existing energy efficiency programs and building and appliance standards.
Under the plan the State of California is committing to reducing its own carbon footprint by 30%. It also calls on Californians to make changes to their personal behavior to reduce their carbon footprint through carpooling and simple actions such as adjusting thermostats to use less energy for heating and cooling.
Once the final draft is prepared, it will go to the Board for consideration in November. After adoption of the plan, all measures in the plan will be thoroughly vetted and analyzed, with full public input, over the next two years as they move through the regulatory process.
Preliminary economic modeling of the plan indicates that the overall savings from improved efficiency and the development of alternatives to petroleum will on the whole outweigh the costs. The draft plan recommends targeted fees to fund the state’s long-term commitment to AB 32 administration.
Climate Change Draft Scoping Plan, June 2008 Discussion Draft