California Moves Swiftly to Further Address Climate Change Emissions Early Action Items Approved Today
LOS ANGELES – Today the California Air Resources Board (ARB or Board) approved early action measures to address climate change emissions as set forth in the landmark California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32).
"Global warming is one of the most serious issues we face today," said ARB Chairman Dr. Robert F. Sawyer. "These early actions will realize prompt emission reductions while a more comprehensive plan is developed."
The early actions include three specific greenhouse gas control rules. These are to be adopted and enforced before January 1, 2010, along with 32 other climate-protecting measures the Board is developing between now and 2011. The report divides early actions into three categories:
- Group 1 - GHG rules for immediate adoption and implementation
- Group 2 - Several additional GHG measures under development
- Group 3 - Air pollution controls with potential climate co-benefits
The three adopted regulations meet the narrow legal definition of "discrete early action GHG reduction measures." They are:
- A low-carbon fuel standard - reducing carbon intensity in California fuels
- Reduction of refrigerant losses from motor vehicle air conditioning system maintenance - restricting the sale of "do-it-yourself" automotive refrigerants
- Increased methane capture from landfills - requiring broader use of state-of-the-art methane capture technologies
Today's approval does not restrict the Board from making additions to the early actions list should new climate change emission reduction methods present themselves at a later date.
The California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 established a statewide target for greenhouse gas reductions by 2020 and requires the ARB to adopt a plan and individual measures to achieve the maximum technologically feasible and cost-effective reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
The Act mandates that California's greenhouse gas emissions be reduced to 1990 levels by 2020, an ambitious 25% percent cut in emissions compared to business as usual. The ARB must adopt a comprehensive blueprint for achieving that goal by the end of 2008 and complete the necessary rulemaking to implement that plan by the end of 2011. In the meantime, the Act requires "discrete early action measures" to ensure steady progress in mitigating climate change. As narrowly defined in the law, the discrete early actions must be regulations, adopted and enforceable no later than January 1, 2010. However, there are many other near-term actions identified by ARB and stakeholders that appear feasible or that are already underway that will contribute achieving to the state's ultimate GHG reduction goal.