California Proposes a Path to Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions

July 02, 2008

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) released a draft plan on June 26 that charts a course to reduce the state's greenhouse gas emissions by 30% over the next 12 years. Central to the Climate Change Draft Scoping Plan is a cap-and-trade program for major emitters that will cover 85% of the state's emissions. The program will be developed in conjunction with the Western Climate Initiative, which includes seven Western states and three Canadian provinces. The plan proposes that utilities produce a third of their energy from renewable energy resources while expanding and strengthening their energy efficiency programs. The draft plan also calls for full implementation of the California Clean Car law and the state's Low Carbon Fuel Standard. Other measures in the plan include sustainable development, full deployment of the governor's Million Solar Roofs initiative, high-speed rail, water-related energy efficiency measures, and a range of regulations to reduce emissions from trucks and ships in California ports. The plan also calls for Californians to take personal actions to reduce their carbon footprint. See the CARB press release and the full plan (PDF 690 KB). Download Adobe Reader.

While California and other Western states are pursuing ways to cut their greenhouse gas emissions, a similar effort is underway in the Northeast under the auspices of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI, pronounced "Reggie"). The initiative is meant to cap greenhouse gas emissions starting next year, but before it can launch, the participating states must all adopt the program. New Hampshire is the latest state to officially adopt the RGGI program under House Bill 1434, which was signed by Governor John Lynch on June 11. See the governor's press release, the full text of the bill, and the RGGI Web site.