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AB 32 -- Hats Off to a Golden Canary

Hats off to AB 32, the canary who is warning us and the visionaries who are guiding California into a challenging future.

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TheGreen Solution Award -

California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006

The California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, sets California on a journey to mitigate the risks of global warming and to become the home of the fast-growing clean technology industry.

According to the report, "A Golden Opportunity" by NRDC, Assembly Bill 32 (also known as AB 32) is the most ambitious global warming solutions law in the nation, making California the first state to firmly limit statewide emissions. The law commits California to reduce its global warming pollution emissions back to 1990 levels by 2020, or nearly 30 percent below forecasted levels.

The bipartisan leadership
that made AB 32 possible
receives our hats off award!
The AB 32 visionaries are truly
"Green Solution Award Winners!"

All eyes are on California -- well, maybe not ALL eyes, but enough! The precedent setting California "AB32" law is a product of bipartisan leadership from Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, Assemblymember Fran Pavley, Senate President pro Tem Don Perata, and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The team who took this bold step needs to be recognized. They truly are carrying a canary into the dark tunnel of high risks. And we, and our children will be the beneficiaries of their longterm view and caution.

AB32 codifies and makes enforceable the 2020 greenhouse gas emission reduction target established by the governor in a 2005 Executive Order, which the multi-agency Climate Action Team had shown can be achieved using currently available technologies while providing economic benefits to the state.

California Global Warming Solutions Act Implementation Timeline

January 1, 2007:
AB 32 becomes law
June 30, 2007:
CARB publishes list of early action emission reduction measures
January 1, 2008:
CARB adopts 2020 emissions limit at 1990 levels, and a mandatory reporting program for significant sources
January 1, 2009:
CARB adopts scoping plan to achieve maximum reductions by 2020
January 1, 2010:
CARB adopts regulations and begins enforcing early action measures
January 1, 2011:
CARB adopts regulations to implement the 2009 scoping plan
January 1, 2012:
CARB begins enforcement of emissions limits
January 1, 2020:
California reduces emissions to 1990 levels
The California Legislature passed AB 32 as part of a package of bills to curb global warming and promote clean energy, including the landmark Senate Bill 1368, which establishes the first minimum emissions standard in the world for any new long-term utility investments in baseload power plants. AB 32 received widespread support from clean energy companies, high-tech businesses, venture capitalists, environmental organizations, and health professionals. In 2006, polls showed that eight in 10 California residents believed that global warming is a very serious or serious concern, 70 percent of likely voters favored the state adopting its own policies on global warming, and a majority supported reducing GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

Putting AB 32 Into Action

AB 32 provides guidelines and a timeline for state agencies to implement programs to meet the GHG limit. The law creates a central role for the California Air Resources Board (CARB), while at the same time recognizing that many other state agencies—coordinated by the Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency

The strategic information and ideas presented in this report address today's global changes -- not a distant scenario. Today, Californians are dealing with degraded air quality that threatens the health of 95 percent of the state's residents who live in areas with unhealthy air. We are already having severe heat waves that kill people across the state. The snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains, our natural water reservoir, is decreasing and is affecting both water supplies and hydroelectric peak power generation. Rising sea levels are already putting additional strain on the state's levee system that further threatens our community infrastructures.

Several studies have shown that California can meet AB 32’s emissions limit using currently available technologies while boosting the state’s bottom line.

Over the next five years, state agencies will put in place a package of policies, which may include both traditional regulatory and market-based approaches, to advance pollution-cutting strategies to meet the state’s emission limit, including:

  • Cleaner cars and trucks, which cut pollution and save drivers billions of dollars;
  • Low-carbon fuels that provide consumers with more choices at the pump and buffer against increasingly frequent gasoline price spikes;
  • Smart growth strategies to design communities so that Californians can walk, bike, or take public transit to reach most places they want to go;
  • Energy efficiency—getting more work out of less energy—which saves consumers billions of dollars and enhances competitiveness;
  • Renewable energy, such as solar and wind resources, which help protect consumers from volatile fossil fuels prices; and
  • Cleaner power plants that are more efficient and take advantage of advanced technologies such as carbon capture and storage.
Many California businesses are already leading the way to the state’s clean energy and technology future. Will you be among them?

Download the Solutions Report of the Year!

Download (and read!) the PDF report, "A Golden Opportunity: California's Solutions for Global Warming" at

This comprehensive 40 page report was authored by Eric Wanless, Natural Resource Defense Council; Devra Wang, Natural Resource Defense Council; Frank Teng, Silico Valley Leadership Group; and Brie Johnson, Environmental Entrepreneurs.

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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