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Home > By DEPARTMENTS > Green Operations > California Environmental Compliance > California AB 32

ARB Releases 55 Economic & Technology Policies for AB32

UPDATE - California ARB's implementation policies of AB32 to reduce greenhouse gases in key industries

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On Feb. 14, 2008, a 20-member California advisory committee issued a report recommending 55 economic and technology advancement policies for a cleaner and more competitive economy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop the California Cleantech industry.

"Our report sounds the call for early action to develop low- and zero-carbon transportation and energy technologies to cut greenhouse gases and improve public health," said Dr. Alan Lloyd, Chair of the Economic and Technology Advancement Advisory Committee (ETAAC). Dr. Lloyd, a former Secretary of Cal/EPA and former chair of the California Air Resources Board, is currently the President of the International Council on Clean Transportation. "This cleaner, more efficient economy holds the promise to provide jobs and reduce greenhouse gases-but only if we act now."

"Policy matters," said Dr. Bob Epstein, the committee's Vice-Chair and co-founder of Environmental Entrepreneurs. "This report identifies a full suite of policies that can stimulate innovation, encourage early action to reduce greenhouse gases, and create jobs."

The committee was established under the requirements of California's ground-breaking Global Warming Solutions Act (or AB 32) to facilitate the development of new economic and technological advancement as quickly as possible. The committee, composed of a cross-section of scientific, business, non-profit and government leaders, is charged with advising the state on strategies to achieve a 25 percent reduction of greenhouse gases by 2020 under AB32, and addresses long-range policies to achieve the 80 percent reduction by 2050 as called for in Governor Schwarzenegger's landmark 2005 Executive Order.

The report, to be presented to the California Air Resources Board at its February 28, 2008 hearing, is the first to present standards, incentives, and investments for cleaner transportation and energy technology across California's economy. Those sectors include

  • Finance
  • Transportation
  • Industrial
  • Commercial and residential energy use
  • Electricity and natural gas
  • Agriculture
  • Forestry
  • Water

To accelerate the transition to a cleaner and more competitive economy, the report proposes the development of a California Carbon Trust if revenues are available from sales of carbon allowances. The proposed trust would direct investments in the research and development of promising and high-potential technologies, finance technology pilot projects, and achieve GHG and air pollution reductions in disadvantaged communities and throughout the state of California.

Other examples of specific recommendations to meet the pressing need for greenhouse gas emission reductions and economic development include:

  • Build on California low- and zero-emission vehicle initiatives
  • Change planning policies to encourage Smart Growth and transit-friendly development
  • Institute motor vehicle congestion charges and other financial incentives
  • Facilitate deployment of renewable energy, and delivery when and where it's needed
  • Establish significant new programs and incentives for water efficiency and recycling
  • Promote aggressive energy efficiency programs, and advanced lighting technology (LEDs)
  • Support soil carbon and biological carbon sequestration

The report also notes that adopting strategic policies will help California capture larger percentages of the growing pool of nationwide Cleantech investment. Total U.S. investment in Cleantech industries was more than $3.7 billion in 2007 with nearly half flowing to California. "Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions presents an unprecedented economic opportunity to harness California's renowned technological ingenuity and can-do spirit," said Mary Nichols, Chairman of the California Air Resources Board, the lead agency implementing AB32. "I applaud the committee's hard work and look forward to examining these thoughtful recommendations with the Board."

The Air Resources Board is currently preparing a policy framework-known as the scoping plan-to achieve reductions from all economic sectors. The draft version of that plan will be released for public comment in June.

The report identified five key strategies for promoting economic and technology advancement.

  • Accelerate GHG Emission Reductions
  • Balance a Portfolio of Economic and Technology Policies
  • Create Innovative Public Funding to Complement Private Investment
  • Foster International and Domestic Partnerships
  • Leadership Across State Agencies

The report also identified five key area of opportunity where the state must focus its attention to deliver the GHG emissions reductions and ancillary benefits needed for climate success:

  • Accelerate efficiency measures
  • Remove carbon from energy sources
  • Rethink transportation to lower demand and carbon emissions
  • Reduce GHG emissions from industry, agriculture, forestry and water
  • Capture Cleantech, economic, health and environmental justice co-benefits
For a copy of the ETAAC report please see: ETAAC REPORT ONLINE

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.

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