SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Three California agencies have proposed plans to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The emissions cuts are mandated by AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which requires the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to develop a plan to meet the cuts. CARB’s proposed plan relies heavily on a cap-and-trade program, which covers 85 percent of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. That program will be developed in conjunction with the Western Climate Initiative, which includes seven states and four Canadian provinces. To spur emissions cuts, CARB proposes expanded energy efficiency programs, an increased use of renewable energy, full deployment of the California Solar Initiative, water efficiency programs, and other measures.

Meanwhile, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the California Energy Commission have adopted their recommendations on how to cut the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. The recommendations call for the state to pursue all cost-effective energy efficiency measures, including more stringent building and appliance standards, as well as a requirement for utilities to draw on renewable power for 33 percent of their electricity sales. The recommendations also note the need to encourage combined heat and power systems. Regarding the cap-and-trade program, the recommendations call for all emissions allowances to be auctioned off by 2016, with the auction revenues used for renewable energy, energy efficiency, new energy technology, infrastructure improvements, and customer bill relief.

Publication date:11/10/2008