At its monthly meeting on June 26, 2008, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) presented its Climate Change Draft Scoping Plan.  The Draft Scoping Plan outlines ARB’s tentative proposals to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 as mandated by AB 32 (California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006). 
Some of the highlights of the Draft Scoping Plan include:

  • Expansion and strengthening of existing energy efficiency programs and building and appliance standards;
  • Expansion of the electric generation Renewables Portfolio Standard to 33 percent;
  • Development of a California cap-and-trade program that links with other Western Climate Initiative programs to create a regional market system;
  • Implementation of California’s clean car standards, goods movement measures, and the Low Carbon Fuel Standard;
  • Targeted fees to fund the State’s long-term commitment to AB 32 administration.

The cap-and-trade program for emission credits would apply to four distinct sectors:  Electricity, Transportation, Industry, and Natural Gas (commercial and residential).  The preliminary estimate for the capped sectors’ GHG emissions to meet the AB 32 goal is 365 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent in 2020, which covers about 85% of California total GHG emissions.  So-called “business-as-usual” GHG emissions for these capped sectors would be 512 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent in 2020.

ARB will now gather public input on the Draft Scoping Plan, with written comments requested by August 1, 2008.  ARB will then release a Proposed Scoping Plan in October 2008 for final approval by ARB at its monthly meeting in November 2008.