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AB 32's Impact Over The Past 10 Years (November 2016)

Ten years after the passage of AB 32, California is optimistic about its efforts to achieve its 2020 goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and minimizing the effects of climate change. The California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, otherwise known as AB 32, has mobilized California’s progress toward a sustainable, low-carbon future. AB 32 requires the state to reduce its emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Under this law, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is required to develop regulations that will allow the state to achieve this goal in an efficient, cost-effective way.

Major Groups of GHGs

AB 32 seeks to decrease the emissions of several major groups of GHGs, including:

  1. Carbon Dioxide
  2. Methane
  3. Nitrous Oxide
  4. Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
  5. Perfluorocarbons (PFCs)
  6. Sulfur Hexafluoride
  7. Nitrogen Trifluoride

Cap-and-Trade Program

The Cap-and-Trade Program is one of the main initiatives created to help California achieve the goals of AB 32. It sets an emissions limit for companies that declines at roughly 3% annually from the time it was passed until 2020 to establish a price on carbon. This forces companies to rely on clean and innovative forms of energy production to remain competitive in the marketplace.

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