The California Senate has taken the state one step closer to mandating a 2030 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target by adding new language to a bill designed to expand the state’s AB 32 climate change law.
The full Senate on Monday amended the bill – designated as SB 32 – by adding a provision directing the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to create a plan limiting statewide GHG levels to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.
Introduced late last year, SB 32 originally spelled out only a specific emission reduction goal of 80 percent by 2050, while leaving interim targets for 2030 and 2040 open-ended and at the discretion of CARB. The current bill still allows that agency to set objectives for 2040.
The amendment puts the bill in line with an executive order issued by California Gov. Jerry Brown in April to cut emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. It also follows a trend of other North American state and provincial entities considering implementation of so-called “mid-term” reductions targets to dispel uncertainty around meeting longer-term goals.
Perhaps most importantly for WCI cap-and-trade market participants, defining specific 2030 targets could provide more clarity around planning for beyond 2020.
The bill was ordered to a third reading in the Senate, the last step before a final vote. If passed by the Senate, it would then go before the state assembly before being sent to the governor if approved without amendment.
By Robert Mullin – email@example.com