ARB Staff Proposes to Triple Early Action Measures Required Under AB 32

As part of California’s historic effort to curb global warming gases, Air Resources Board (ARB) staff recently proposed to nearly triple the set of early measures to help meet the state’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions roughly 25 percent by 2020 as required by the Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32).

In addition, ARB staff proposed an additional set of measures today that go above and beyond the narrow requirements of the law. New proposals are expected to reduce greenhouse gases from the trucking industry, greener ports, cement and semiconductor industries, and consumer products. Full list is attached.

“The announcement sets the stage for another step forward in achieving our goal to return the state’s greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020,” said ARB Chairman Mary Nichols. “Every single action we take – government, businesses, municipalities and individuals alike – makes a difference toward ultimately cooling our planet. California is showing the country and the world that we can and will help reverse the ominous tide of global warming.”

These newly proposed early action measures are projected to reduce 2.8 million metric tons of annual greenhouse gas emissions. Combined with the early action measures adopted by the Board in June – a low carbon fuel standard, restrictions in do-it-yourself air conditioner repairs and methane capture from landfills – ARB now has measures in the works to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 16 million metric tons.

The proposed early actions combined with other measures proposed by the larger Climate Action Team could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 36 million metric tons by 2020, roughly 21 percent of the total needed to meet AB 32’s goal of rolling back emissions to 1990 levels. This lays a solid foundation for obtaining the necessary reductions needed to meet AB 32 requirements.

The Board will vote on additional proposed measures in Sacramento on Oct. 25 and 26. In the meantime, ARB staff will hold a workshop on the new proposed measure Sept. 17 in Sacramento to discuss specifics and solicit additional input from stakeholders.

Governor Schwarzenegger signed the Global Warming Solutions Act on Sept. 26, 2006, establishing the world’s most comprehensive greenhouse gas reduction initiative. The law requires the ARB to implement a statewide greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategy. In addition, the Governor directed the members of the Climate Action Team to work alongside the ARB to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their respective jurisdictions.

A summary table of these actions is available at the following link: http://www.arb.ca.gov/newsrel/nratt090707.htm

For more information about climate change programs, see: http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/cc.htm

This article originally appeared in the 09/01/2007 issue of Environmental Protection.

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