The California Air Resources Board yesterday approved the Scoping Plan (earlier post) to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. California is now the first state to formally approve a comprehensive greenhouse gas reduction plan that is required under statute and that involves every sector of the economy. Development of the Scoping Plan is a central requirement of AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006; Governor Schwarzenegger signed the bill into law in September 2006.
The Scoping Plan requires the largest sectorial chunk of reductions to come from transportation, outlining projected 62.3 MMTCO2e (37%) in reductions through a variety of measures.
The key transportation instrument is the Pavley standards, followed by the Low-Carbon Fuel Standard. In the final plan, however, ARB has increased its estimate of reductions in regional transportation greenhouse gases achieved through land-use changes and transit policies designed to reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT); this is prior to setting the targets required by the newly enacted SB 375 (anti-sprawl bill).
ARB is also evaluating the use of feebates as a measure to achieve additional reductions, either as a backstop to the Pavley regulation if the regulation cannot be implemented, or as a supplement to Pavley if the waiver is approved and the regulation takes effect.
A public hearing on a research proposal by UC Davis on feebates is an element of the Board meeting agenda for today. The research project would be led by Dr. David Greene, who is a visiting researcher at the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies and Corporate Fellow, Oak Ridge National Labs.
An important component of the overall 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 four Canadian provinces that have committed to cap their emissions and create a regional carbon market.
Additional components of the plan include strategies to enhance and expand energy efficiency programs; increases in the amount of clean and renewable energy used to power the state; full deployment of the California Solar Initiative; high-speed rail; water-related energy efficiency measures; and a range of regulations to reduce emissions from trucks and from ships docked in California ports. There are also measures designed to safely reduce or recover a range of refrigerants and other industrial gases that are very potent greenhouse gases.
The plan recommends targeted fees to fund the state’s long-term commitment to AB 32 administration. The ARB will begin developing detailed strategies to implement all of the recommended measures that must be in place by 2012.