California Air Resources Board (CARB) released the final version of the 2022 Scoping Plan for Achieving Carbon Neutrality.
What is a scoping plan, and why is this important? The state of California has set some of the country’s most aggressive greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction standards. Perhaps the most significant are the targets defined in AB 1279, requiring the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 85 percent less than 1990 levels by 2045.
The scoping plan concept was created to help state agencies work together to achieve common goals. Its implementation dates to 2006, when the state legislature passed legislation requiring CARB to create a blueprint on how they would achieve regulated GHG reductions.
As part of the Scoping Plan process, CARB holds stakeholder workshops, evaluates scientific research projects, and uses sophisticated models to define an effective plan. The end goal is to realize significant and measurable GHG reductions. The process takes years; multiple versions are created before the Scoping Plan is final. Once the Scoping Plan is finalized, the cycle repeats, as the Scoping Plans are updated every five years in California. The concept has proven to be valuable and effective. The original goals set in 2006 were achieved in 2016, four years ahead of the anticipated deadline.
The directives outlined in the current plan are significant. Many of the regulations and policies outlined in the 2022 Scoping plan will be influential for decades.
If you want to follow the direction of California’s greenhouse gas reduction efforts, there is no better place to start than the most recent 2022 version of the CARB Scoping Plan. Want a brief summary? This press release summarizes the emissions reductions, economic impacts, and job creation estimates outlined in the 2022 Scoping Plan.