SACRAMENTO – The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has released a draft report on proposed early actions to mitigate greenhouse gases in California, consistent with the landmark Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on September 27, 2006.
"The impact of greenhouse gases on the world's climate is an urgent problem that calls for prompt action," said ARB Chairman Dr. Robert F. Sawyer. "Discrete early action measures will get that process started while we work on more comprehensive solutions."
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 Air Resources Board 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 underway at ARB that will contribute to the State's ultimate goal.
Today's early action report identifies three specific greenhouse gas control rules to be adopted and enforced before January 1, 2010, along with 36 other climate protecting measures the Board is initiating between now and 2011. The report divides early actions into three categories:
Group 1 - GHG rules for immediate adoption and implementation
Group 2 - Additional GHG measures underway between 2007-2009
Group 3 - Air pollution controls with potential climate co-benefits
Three regulations are proposed to meet the narrow legal definition of "discrete early action GHG reduction measures": a low-carbon fuel standard, reduction of refrigerant losses from motor vehicle air conditioning system maintenance, and increased methane capture from landfills.
A public workshop to discuss the draft report will be held in Sacramento on April 23. After gathering public comments, staff will develop a final staff report for presentation to ARB's Governing Board at its June 20-21, 2007 hearing.
CARB'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 CARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.