The Cleantech Law – California Greenhouse Gas / Global Warming Law

Given the increase in the recent cleantech press on the California initiative on global warming, it makes sense to do a blog on some of the more interesting analyses and summaries of this law, which for lack a better term, I have started referring to as “the California cleantech law.”

A good summary of the provisions of the cleantech law and background can be found on the Nixon Peabody site here. Nixon Peabody is one of the leading law firms in the cleantech sector in California.

Nixon Peabody’s analysis of the key provisions from that article:

“Some of the key provisions of the Act are as follows:
1) Types of Emissions Covered.

AB-32 is aimed at limiting emissions of greenhouse gases which includes all of the following: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocrabons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexaflouride. [Note: these are the same six greenhouse gases that are targeted by Kyoto]

2) Early Action Reduction Measures.

CARB must publish and make available to the public a list of early action greenhouse gas emission reduction measures by June 30, 2007.
Such early action reduction measures must take effect by January 1, 2010.

3) Statewide Emissions Limit.
CARB must determine the 1990 statewide greenhouse gas emission level by January 1, 2008.
CARB must establish a statewide greenhouse gas emission limit for 2020 by January 1, 2008.

4) Mandatory Reporting.
By January 1, 2008, CARB must adopt regulations that accomplish the following:Require the monitoring and annual reporting of greenhouse gas emission sources beginning with the sources that contribute most to statewide emissions.
Account for greenhouse gas emission from all electricity consumed in the state.
Whenever possible, “incorporate the standards and protocols developed by the California Climate Action Registry.”[9]
Ensure rigorous and consistent accounting of emissions and provide reporting tools to ensure collection of emission data.
Maintain comprehensive records of emission data.

5) Scoping Plan.
CARB must adopt a scoping plan which outlines how it plans to achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions by January 1, 2009 through reduction measures, market mechanisms and incentive programs. The environmental justice advisory committee will advise CARB in developing the scoping plan.

6) Emissions Cap Effective 2012.
CARB is directed to implement regulations designed to “achieve the maximum technologically feasible and cost-effective reductions in greenhouse gas emissions” by January 1, 2011, which shall become effective January 1, 2012.

7) Market-Based and Alternative Compliance Mechanisms
CARB can consider using market-based compliance mechanisms such as cap and trade programs and emission credit for early action.”

Full text including sources are on their site.

CBS article on the California greenhouse emissions law here.

Article from the NRDC can be found here.

CNN article here on California’s suit against the world’s largest automakers for greenhouse emissions.

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