Draft plan assesses progress to date, looks beyond 2020

The Air Resources Board today posted on its website the public discussion draft of the required update to the AB 32 Scoping Plan. The Scoping Plan describes the comprehensive range of efforts California must take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and meet the state’s long-term goals to combat climate change.

AB 32 requires the Scoping Plan to be updated every five years.

The original Plan, first released in 2008, was developed on the principle that a balanced mix of strategies is the best way to cut emissions and grow California’s economy in a clean and sustainable direction. This draft update continues with that approach and focuses on three questions:

•    How have we done over the past five years?

•    What is needed to continue the prescribed course of action

to 2020?

•    What steps must California now take to meet the state’s climate goals beyond 2020? 

California’s strategy to meet the goals of AB 32 is based on the continued implementation of adopted actions including Advanced Clean Cars, the 33% Renewables Portfolio Standard, statewide energy-efficiency initiatives, Cap-and-Trade, the Low Carbon Fuel Standard and other programs. They are designed to achieve significant reductions of greenhouse gases in every sector of California’s economy through improved energy efficiency, and by providing consumers with cleaner fuel choices. 

The discussion draft includes an analysis of progress to date, finding that California is on track to meet the AB 32 2020 goal of greenhouse gas reductions.  An overview of the current science of climate change in the draft includes an expanded discussion of short-lived climate pollutants such as methane and black carbon.

It also includes actions California must take to continue greenhouse gas reductions in six key focus areas: energy; transportation, land use, fuels and infrastructure; water; agriculture; natural and working lands; and, waste.

The draft update is the result of a series of discussions and input over the past year by a broad range of state agencies and departments and the state Climate Action Team. In addition, four public workshops were held over the summer in Los Angeles, Fresno, Sacramento and San Francisco in an effort to consider comments prior to developing the draft. 

The release of the discussion draft update marks the beginning of a public comment period to help inform the Proposed Update to the Scoping Plan. 

Future steps in the development of the Proposed Update include a public workshop on October 15 in Sacramento (which will also be webcast), and a meeting of the Board at the end of October to hear from all stakeholders and provide further direction to staff on revisions to the discussion draft presentation to the ARB at its Board meeting at the end of October.  Following the October Board meeting, the draft will be revised and then presented to the Board at its December meeting. The Board is anticipated to consider approval of the update in Spring of 2014. 

To view the discussion draft Scoping Plan Update, go here: