California To Review Carbon Trading Program As Part Of Climate Roadmap

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“This remains an important space for us to work directly with environmental justice and community organizations to ensure that their views are incorporated into our work,” Randolph mentioned.

California in 2016 pledged to chop its climate-warming air pollution 40% over the subsequent ten years, and it’s counting on the carbon buying and selling program for almost half of these reductions in 2030.

“We’re calling on all our existing climate policies to do more in the next decade. We have no choice but to accelerate the rate of emission reductions dramatically,” Blumenfeld mentioned Tuesday.

No modifications to this system would occur quickly. The course of will start this spring, and the ultimate plan is predicted to be offered to the board in late 2022, Blumenfeld mentioned.

“Opportunities to further strengthen the cap and trade program will begin as part of the public process to update the scoping plan. To do so now would be premature,” Blumenfeld mentioned.

Tuesday’s listening to was held by a Senate budget subcommittee chaired by Sen. Bob Wieckowski, a Democrat from Fremont. Wieckowski requested Randolph, who was appointed chair of the air board in December, whether or not she deliberate to revisit the load of cap and commerce within the new scoping plan.

“Yes, basically, the answer is yes,” Randolph mentioned. “The scoping plan process will rely on analyzing the existing programs and authorities to determine how to achieve reductions and then to determine what additional reductions need to be addressed by cap and trade.”

“We’re calling on all our existing climate policies to do more in the next decade. We have no choice but to accelerate the rate of emission reductions dramatically.”
Jared Blumenfeld, secretary for environmental safety

The statements on the listening to reaffirm Blumenfeld’s dedication in a letter to Wieckowski over the summer to weigh “the extent to which the state’s climate strategy should rely on the cap-and-trade program reductions relative to other approaches.”

The dialogue met resistance from oil and fuel producers, however was welcomed by environmental justice teams.

“Changing this market-based system now would only create economic uncertainty for businesses and raise costs for consumers, all at a time when the state’s overall economy is in a precarious position,” mentioned Rock Zierman, CEO of the California Independent Petroleum Association, which represents impartial crude oil and pure fuel producers.

Kevin Slagle, a spokesperson for the Western States Petroleum Association, mentioned “cap-and-trade is doing exactly what it was intended to do — driving innovation — which has helped the state meet its climate goals almost four years earlier than anticipated.”

California’s environmental justice advocates have lengthy opposed this system as a result of they are saying it comes on the expense of local weather insurance policies that might profit low-income communities of colour which are disproportionately burdened by air air pollution.

“The upcoming CARB scoping plan update is an opportunity to address the bifurcation of climate and air pollution, and move towards a mechanism that will allow for direct emissions reductions,” mentioned Neena Mohan, local weather justice affiliate on the California Environmental Justice Alliance.

“Cap-and-trade is doing exactly what it was intended to do — driving innovation — which has helped the state meet its climate goals almost four years earlier than anticipated.”
Kevin Slagle, spokesperson for the Western States Petroleum Association

In January, this system entered a brand new part that provides new necessities via 2030. These embrace doubling the rate at which the emissions cap drops and including a value ceiling for credit to forestall prices for industries from rising previous a sure level.

Ross Brown with the Legislative Analyst’s office mentioned on the listening to that California’s 2020 greenhouse fuel goal, which the state reached 4 years early, required slicing emissions by about 1% every year. To meet the 2030 targets, California would wish to quadruple these cuts, he mentioned.

“Just having the program in place is not sufficient to ensure that the program is achieving the goals,” Brown mentioned. “Implementation of the program and design of the program matters a lot.”

One concern that Brown and others have raised is that firms could also be banking unused air pollution credit, referred to as allowances, to make use of later.

“It’s possible that when you get out into the later years up to 2030, that large bank of allowances could be used to comply with the program,” Brown mentioned. “And as a result, the state might not be close to its ambitious emission targets out to 2030.”

Wieckowski mentioned that drawback haunts him. “I lose sleep at night, knowing that we were told that we couldn’t amend that bill, when staff and you in particular were saying that this allowance problem was a very big problem,” he mentioned. “And now we have to deal with it.”

“Why is it not appropriate to ask questions about the performance of the program? If not now, when is it okay?”
danny cullenward, member of the emissions advisory committee

The Independent Emissions Market Advisory Committee, which is made up of researchers and teachers appointed by the governor and leaders within the Legislature, has proposed metrics for monitoring the financial institution of additional credit.

“I think we are going to see that the number of banked allowances is far in excess of what the board said in its previous rulemaking statement,” mentioned Danny Cullenward, a lecturer at Stanford Law School and a member of the emissions advisory committee. He mentioned an air board evaluation of banked allowances is predicted by the top of this year

The listening to comes in the future earlier than a cap and commerce public sale the place firms and others can bid to buy air pollution credit. The timing raised pink flags for oil firms lined by cap and commerce.

“Our concern is that the hearing may unnecessarily create uncertainty about the cap-and-trade program that could affect the auction,” Slagle mentioned.

Cullenward questioned, nonetheless, whether or not these considerations had been justified. “Why is it not appropriate to ask questions about the performance of the program? If not now, when is it okay?” he mentioned. “Neither the legislature nor the administration did anything in a way that would prejudice people’s behavior at the auction tomorrow.”

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