Allison Smith Outlines Contents of California’s Draft Blueprint to Reach Carbon Neutrality by 2045


In an “Attorney Analysis” for Westlaw Today, environmental and energy law partner Allison Smith discusses the contents of the draft 2022 Scoping Plan Update released recently by the California Air Resources Board (ARB)—a proposed plan for the state to achieve its goal of carbon neutrality across all sectors by 2045 and an assessment of the state’s progress in meeting its interim goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

The draft update details the scenario, chosen out of four evaluated by ARB, that the agency’s staff believes will be most effective in balancing cost-effectiveness, health benefits, and technological feasibility. The update includes a focus on equity as a principal consideration, for which ARB received input from the Environmental Justice Advisory Committee.

Key takeaways noted by Smith include:

  • The proposed scenario will have its smallest impacts on the electricity and building sectors, while requiring a greater level of transformation to achieve decarbonization of the transportation and industrial sectors.
  • A variety of carbon dioxide removal and sequestration strategies play a role in the update to help meet the state’s emission goals.
  • The draft update foretells more aggressive action to reach legislative targets to reduce a variety of short-lived climate pollutants.

Smith concludes: “Overall, some sectors may not see dramatic regulatory shifts in the run up to meeting targeted GHG reductions by 2030, as existing programs implemented since the 2017 Scoping Plan Update continue in place. But the emissions reductions necessary to move toward carbon neutrality by 2045 will, in the words of ARB, be ‘comprehensive, far reaching, and transformative.’ The effects are likely to be felt across all sectors of the state’s economy.”

You can read the full article here.

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