CARB Releases the Proposed Final 2017 Climate Change Scoping Plan Update.

On November 30, 2017, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released the Final 2017 Climate Change Scoping Plan (full plan) setting forth California’s policy strategy for achieving its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals by 2030.

AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, set California’s first GHG target calling on the state to reduce GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, a target California is on track to achieve and exceed. Governor Brown’s Executive Order B-30-15 and SB 32 extended the goals of AB 32 and set a 2030 goal of reducing GHG emissions to 40 percent below 1990 emission levels by 2030. AB 398, passed in 2017, extends the applicability of the regulation by requiring CARB to include specified price ceilings, price containment points, offset credit compliance limits, and industry assistance factors for allowance allocation. This bill establishes a system of market-based, declining, annual, aggregate emissions limits for sources, or categories of sources, that emit greenhouse gases from January 1, 2021, to December 31, 2030, inclusive.

Broadly, the 2017 Scoping Plan Update includes a framework to implement the following programs and goals:

  1. SB 350
    • Achieves 50 percent Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) by 2030.
    • Doubles energy efficiency savings by 2030.
  2. Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS)
    • Increases stringency (reducing carbon intensity 18 percent by 2030, up from 10 percent by 2020).
  3. Mobile Source Strategy (Cleaner Technology and Fuels Scenario)
    • Maintains existing GHG standards for light- and heavy-duty vehicles.
    • Puts 4.2 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) on the roads.
    • Increases ZEV buses, delivery and other trucks.
  4. Sustainable Freight Action Plan
    • Improves freight system efficiency.
    • Maximizes use of near-zero emission vehicles and equipment powered by renewable energy.
    • Deploys over 100,000 zero-emission trucks and equipment by 2030.
  5. Short-Lived Climate Pollutant (SLCP) Reduction Strategy
    • Reduces emissions of methane and hydrofluorocarbons 40 percent below 2013 levels by 2030.
    • Reduces emissions of black carbon 50 percent below 2013 levels by 2030.
    • For dairies, California will aim to reduce methane emissions from dairy manure management by at least 20 percent in 2020, 50 percent in 2025, and 75 percent in 2030.
  6. SB 375 Sustainable Communities Strategies
    • Increases stringency of regional targets for GHG emissions reductions from passenger vehicles for 2020 and 2035 for each region covered by one of the State’s metropolitan organizations (MPOs). (Executive Summary, Scoping Plan, pg. ES5)
  7. Post-2020 Cap-and-Trade Program
    • Declining caps, continued linkage with Québec, and linkage with Ontario, Canada.
    • CARB will look for opportunities to strengthen the program to support more air quality co-benefits, including specific program design elements. These include potential future amendments to reduce the offset usage limit, redesigning the allocation strategy to reduce free allocation to support increased technology and energy investment at covered entities, and reducing allocation if the covered entity increases criteria or toxics emissions over some baseline.
  8. 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the refinery sector.
  9. By 2018, develop an Integrated Natural and Working Lands Action Plan to secure California’s land base as a net carbon sink. (Executive Summary, Scoping Plan, pgs. ES4-ES5)

The final scoping plan also strengthens the monitoring requirements as required under AB 617, as passed in 2017, to reduce air pollution at the community level. CARB adopted the 2017 Scoping Plan at their December 14, 2017 Board Meeting.

Contact: Brian S. Biering