SAN FRANCISCO (Dec. 6, 2007) – California officials today adopted specific state-wide global warming emissions targets for the first time, along with new rules requiring polluting companies to make public their emission levels each year. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved the landmark measures nearly a month ahead of the schedule set by the legislature, demonstrating continued momentum for clean, efficient energy solutions, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
“California completed the first lap of its multi-year effort well ahead of schedule,” said Devra Wang, director of NRDC’s California Energy program. “This sends a clear signal to entrepreneurs, innovators and venture capitalists investing in cleaner energy solutions, that California is serious about reducing pollution and leading the clean tech industry.”
NRDC said the strengthened framework will increase market certainty for companies to transform their operations as part of a clean energy economy. From now on, California’s efforts will focus on reducing the state’s emissions from today’s level of approximately 480 million metric tons of carbon dioxide down to 427 million metric tons by 2020. That represents a nearly 30 percent reduction below forecast levels under business as usual.
CARB voted to adopt the emissions limit and reporting rules at its meeting today in El Monte. The agency faced a year-end deadline under the law, which was passed and signed last year and took effect on January 1.
The reporting rules will require electricity generators, refineries, cement plants, and any other industrial sources emitting more than 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide pollution per year to report their emissions annually to the state. The information, which will be verified by independent, certified third parties, will enable the state to enforce policies requiring these entities to reduce pollution emissions and track progress towards the 2020 limit.
The next big deadline is December 31, 2008, when California must complete a scoping plan that maps out the policies that will require pollution cuts from emitters in every sector of the economy.
“California is racing to beat the clock because scientists say we have a limited window of opportunity to avoid the worst effects of global warming,” Wang said.