Today, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released its draft 2013 Scoping Plan, the blueprint outlining how the State will address climate change over the next five years, reach its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, and create a path for even deeper reductions beyond 2020.
The draft is full of smart and common sense ideas, but here are a few specific things to note about it:
In this draft, CARB expressed the importance of setting a mid-term 2030 target to guide California's effort to achieve the deep reductions needed to avert disastrous climate change.
Let’s be clear, efforts to set a 2030 target are significant for California. It will provide a crucial market signal for businesses that the state’s clean energy efforts are here for the long-term.
California is already on track for reaching its 2020 climate change target, but is not resting on its laurels.
"California needs a 2030 target that is consistent with the level of reduction needed in the developed world to stabilize warming at 2°C and aligns with targets under consideration elsewhere," ARB said.
Driven by a history of leadership, and a 2005 Executive Order signed by Governor Schwarzenegger for the state to reduce emissions 80% by 2050, CARB recognizes that there is much more that California can do to combat climate change. In their Scoping Plan comments, even the oil companies acknowledged “the AB 32 mandate does not vanish in 2020.”
In this 2013 Scoping Plan draft CARB was directed by Governor Brown to prioritize areas to invest the state’s nearly $400 million in auction proceeds from cap and trade. In addition to placing a cap on carbon, these investments will help promote clean energy, reduce carbon pollution and foster innovation – and shows that environmental policy is also good economic policy. As ARB noted, "Programs such as sustainable community development and forests can provide near-term benefits while also laying the foundation for future, more ambitious projects.
Reducing climate change pollution requires a collaborative approach across many sectors including water, energy, waste and natural resources – all of which are reflected in this draft. With this holistic approach, CARB can find cross-cutting ideas to move the state forward and advance the goals of AB 32. In EDF’s Scoping Plan comments we submitted recommendations in nine areas and hope the State continues to take advantage of these interdependent opportunities.
Emissions in California fell every year from 2008- 2011, and sectors such as refineries and cement manufacturers are already taking advantage of energy saving opportunities. EDF commends CARB on using the 2013 Scoping Plan as a way to continue this trend, plan and invest in the future, and think big when it comes to addressing the most pressing environmental issues in California.