California Air Resources Board Adopts Regional Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Targets for Automobiles and Light Trucks Pursuant to Senate Bill 375

On September 23, 2010, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) adopted targets for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with automobiles and light trucks in years 2020 and 2035. The targets were adopted pursuant to Senate Bill (SB) 375, also known as the Sustainable Communities Climate Protection Act of 2008, which requires each of California’s 18 federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) to consider the impact of land use patterns and transportation on GHG emissions. The MPOs collectively represent nearly 90 percent of California’s population and GHG emissions. The targets specifically call for a percent reduction in per-capita emissions by the years 2020 and 2035, as follows:

• The San Diego Area: 7 percent and 13 percent
• Sacramento Region: 7 percent and 16 percent
• Bay Area Region: 7 percent and 15 percent
• Southern California: 8 percent and 13 percent, with the 2035 target conditioned on discussions with the MPO
• San Joaquin Valley (which includes eight planning organizations): placeholder targets of 5 percent and 10 percent, to be revisited in 2012
• Targets for the remaining six Metropolitan Planning Organizations—the Monterey Bay, Butte, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Shasta and Tahoe Basin regions—generally match or improve upon their current plans for 2020 and 2035.

In developing the targets, CARB staff considered extensive input provided by the MPOs and local agencies. The targets are intended to reduce per capita GHG emissions between 7 and 9 percent in 2020 and between 13 and 16 percent in 2035 for each of California’s largest urban areas. According to CARB’s staff report, when these reductions are applied to the most recent 2020 emissions forecasts, the emission target for passenger vehicles identified in California’s 2008 Climate Change Scoping Plan prepared pursuant to Assembly Bill 32 (the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006) is met.