Looking Ahead: Post-2020 climate change

By Michael Shaw

Capitol Update, March 13, 2015 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

2015 promises to be an exciting year on the climate change and energy policy fronts. With many eyes set on the Paris conference later this year, some California leaders are committed to bringing a major new goal to keep the state in the perceived lead in the fight against global climate change.

In January, Governor Jerry Brown announced aggressive plans to address global climate change with a proposal that called for a 50 percent reduction in the use of petroleum-based fuels, 50 percent of energy from renewable sources and a 50 percent reduction in energy use by existing buildings. A month later, Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) announced a bill package that largely mirrored Governor Brown’s proposal with the significant addition of an aggressive new greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions target of 80 percent below 1990 levels (Currently, climate change policy calls for GHG reductions to 1990 levels by 2020).

Action by legislative leaders show a clear interest in making sure that future climate change policy receives debate in the Legislature and is not left to the Air Resources Board (ARB) to determine California’s contribution to solving a global problem. However, Governor Brown’s plan at this point indicates that no additional authority is needed to continue the cap-and-trade system limiting GHG emissions while generating revenue. CMTA is at the table and working with a coalition of partners to ensure that the interests of manufacturers and other businesses are present and influential.

Here are some of the highlights from climate change bills in the 2015-16 session thus far:

AB 21 by Assembly Member Henry Perea (D-Fresno) – Requires ARB to recommend to the Legislature and Governor a statewide emissions reduction target for 2030 to be accomplished in the most cost-effective manner.

AB 33 by Assembly Member Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) – Requires ARB to recommend to the Legislature and Governor statewide emissions reduction targets for 2030, 2040 and 2050 and include specified economic and public health analyses.

SB 32 by Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) – Requires ARB to establish a new GHG emissions limit of 80 percent below 1990 level to be achieved by 2050 and gives authority to set interim goals in 2030 and 2040.

SB 350 by Senate Pro Tem Kevin de León – States the intent of the Legislature to achieve the following goals by 2030: Increase the renewable energy production under the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) from 33 percent to 50 percent, reduce petroleum-based fuel in the transportation sector by 50 percent and double energy efficiency of existing buildings (50 percent reduction).

Additionally, a number of bills, many in spot form lacking detail and a few with more substance, were introduced by legislators at the bill introduction deadline at the end of February that call for a range of actions from a full repeal of AB 32 to the exemption of fuels and natural gas from the current emissions cap.

This year will be full of action on climate change policy and CMTA will be at the center of it to protect the interests of California manufacturers. Stay tuned.


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