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IN BRIEF of Sciences in 11 countries, and the vast

majority of academic researchers have
Global warming from human sources is
stated that global warming due to
predicted to have a potentially
atmospheric greenhouse gases is now
devastating impact on California’s
occurring and will result in potentially
economy, environment, and public
catastrophic global changes if the rate of
health if aggressive action is not taken
greenhouse gas emissions is not slowed
in the near future to reduce greenhouse
to allow for adaptation.
gas (GHG) emissions, primarily carbon
dioxide. Previous legislation, AB 1493
Potential impacts to California from
(Pavley, Chapter 400, Statutes of 2002),
climate change include rising sea levels
mandates the reduction of greenhouse
that could damage coastal communities
gases from cars and light-duty trucks.
and coastal wetlands, degradation in air
The main stationary sources of
quality resulting in an increase in
greenhouse gases in California come
respiratory illness, increased death from
from the utility, oil and gas, and waste
heat and insect-borne diseases, loss of
sectors as well as from other
Sierra snow pack and related water
commercial sources.
supply problems, and a dramatic
increase in state energy needs, among
AB 32 directs the California
other problems.
Environmental Protection Agency to
implement regulations for a cap on
California, if compared against other
stationary sources of GHG emissions .
countries in the world, is the tenth
The bill requires that CAL/EPA develop
largest emitter of carbon dioxide
regulations to reduce emissions with an
pollution in the world. California’s
enforcement mechanism to ensure the
consumption of imported electricity is
reductions are achieved, and to disclose
responsible for carbon dioxide pollution
how it arrives at the cap. It also
emitted from power plants in other parts
includes conditions to ensure
of the Western U.S.
businesses and consumers are not
unfairly impacted by reductions.
Addressing global warming carries
substantial economic benefits.
THE ISSUE California is rich in renewable energy
resources and advanced energy
Consensus has emerged that climate efficiency technologies that will create
change is a real threat to the future of new jobs and provide a hedge against
the planet. The US Senate, a number of the economic impact of price spikes for
state Governors, the National Academy natural gas and oil. A set of
representative low-carbon policies
analyzed for the West Coast Governors’

October 21, 2005

Global Warming Initiative estimates that
the west coast region could save a
cumulative total of almost $40 billion by
2020 if these policies are adopted.
AB 32 requires the California
Climate change prevention strategies Environmental Protection Agency to
will have numerous public health and work with state agencies to do the
environmental benefits by reducing the following:
pollutants that cause smog, soot, haze 1) Promulgate and implement a
and toxic air pollution, and will also help greenhouse gas emissions cap
ensure adequate water supplies, for the electric power, industrial
preserve farm and forest land uses, and and commercial sectors through
reduce traffic congestion. regulations in an economically
efficient manner;
The State of California has taken a 2) Institute a schedule of
leadership role in recognizing the threat greenhouse gas reductions;
of climate change and enacting 3) Develop an enforcement
legislation and developing policies that mechanism for reducing GHGs;
address greenhouse gas emissions. 4) Establish a program to track and
Governor Schwarzenegger, working report GHG emissions .
with the Governors of Oregon and
Washington, has approved a series of AB 32 requires that these regulations
recommendations for action to combat not create large windfall profits for
global warming. State agencies, in private businesses, penalize industries
addition to implementing legislative or companies which have acted
direction like the California Air previously to reduce greenhouse gas
Resources Board’s rules to limit GHG emissions, result in disproportionate
emissions from automobiles, have also impacts to consumers or any
passed regulations that address the geographic or socio-economic groups,
causes of climate change. and should ensure that entities are
appropriately motivated to make
investments that will reduce emissions.
AB 32 also requires that CAL/EPA
The California Legislature has instituted report on how they arrive at the
several laws to address GHG emissions emissions cap, and provide biannual
from sources within the state, such as progress reports on achieving the cap.
reducing GHG emissions from
automobiles, increasing the amount of
renewable energy delivered to California
investor-owned utility (IOU) customers,
improving building and appliance Staff:
efficiency standards, and establishing a Adrienne Alvord
voluntary registry to develop (916) 319-2041
standardized GHG emission reporting (916) 319-2121 [Fax]
and certification protocols and house adrienne.alvord@asm.ca.gov [E-mail]
certified GHG emission data.

October 21, 2005