This week the California Air Resources Board (ARB) released a draft of its AB 32 Climate Change Scoping Plan Update. The original Scoping Plan was adopted in 2008 and must be updated every five years. The Scoping Plan serves as a blueprint for achieving AB 32’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

The draft Update summarizes programs implemented over the last five years under AB 32 and outlines actions necessary to continue California’s progress toward the 2020 emissions reduction goal. The draft Update shows that California is on track to meet the 2020 emissions reduction goal and inventories the progress made across different economic sectors and programs like cap and trade. With the Update, ARB continues its strategy of achieving AB 32 goals through a mix of emissions reduction measures, including regulatory programs, incentives, and market-based approaches.

The draft Update also provides key recommended actions to maintain the momentum of emission reductions and advance emissions reduction goals beyond 2020. Areas of focus include:

  • Energy – reducing GHGs from electricity generation as well as reducing energy use through greater efficiency.
  • Transportation, land use, fuels, and infrastructure – from increasing the use of low carbon fuels and electric vehicles, to changing how communities are developed.
  • Water – increasing the efficiency of water use in order to reduce the carbon footprint of supplying water to various sectors within the state.
  • Agriculture – implementing GHG emission reduction management practices.
  • Forests, rangelands, and wetlands – integrating carbon management into resource management plans to reduce emissions associated with the use of these resources and optimize carbon sequestration on these lands.
  • Waste – reducing waste, maximizing recycling and composting, and developing markets and infrastructure for the reuse of waste.

On October 15, ARB will hold a public workshop on the draft Scoping Plan Update. Public comments may be submitted on the draft Update on or before November 1. The Board will discuss the draft Update at its October 24 and 25 meeting. ARB anticipates issuing the Proposed Scoping Plan Update prior to the Board’s December meeting, with approval of the Update expected in spring 2014.