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AB 32 – Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006

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AB 32 (Nunez), known as the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006,  requires the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to adopt rules and regulations to achieve 1990 equivalent statewide greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission levels by 2020.

This law requires CARB to adopt regulations requiring GHG emission sources to monitor and report their emissions, and specifies detailed criteria for the adoption and compliance with those regulations.  This law also requires CARB to adopt a statewide emissions limit on GHG emissions, specifies both a process and criteria for the adoption of the limit, and provides that the limit must remain in effect after 2020 until otherwise amended or repealed. 

This law requires CARB to adopt the maximum feasible and cost-effective reductions in GHG emissions for sources and categories of sources subject to the Act, in accordance with the following schedule:

  • On or before July 1, 2007, CARB must adopt a list of discrete early action emission reduction measures that can be achieved prior to the adoption of market-based compliance mechanisms and other measures and limits under the law's provisions.
  • On or before January 1, 2009, CARB must prepare and adopt a Scoping Plan for the rules and regulations it is required to adopt pursuant to the law's provisions, and must comply with specified criteria in developing and adopting the plan. CARB is required to update the plan every five years. 
  • On or before January 1, 2010, CARB must adopt and enforce those measures in order to achieve the maximum technologically feasible and cost-effective reductions of greenhouse gases. GHG emissions
  • On or before January 1, 2011, CARB must adopt GHG emission limits and measures to achieve the maximum feasible and cost-effective reductions in GHG emissions in furtherance of the GHG emission limit. 

In adopting the regulations described above, CARB may adopt a so-called "cap and trade" system (i.e., "a system of market-based declining annual aggregate emission limits”), provided it complies with specified conditions prior to authorizing the use of those mechanisms.  CARB may also adopt market-based compliance mechanisms and specific conditions and criteria for the adoption and use of those mechanisms.

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