Governor Brown recently signed Senate Bill 32 and Assembly Bill 197 continuing California’s leadership on climate change. SB 32 and AB 197 were inextricably linked—each bill requiring the passage of the other.
SB 32 significantly increases the state’s targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions. It calls for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of at least 40 percent below the statewide limit by 2030.
AB 197 requires CARB to prioritize direct emission reductions and consider social costs when adopting regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as a means to protect the state’s “most impacted and disadvantaged communities.” Social costs are defined as “an estimate of the economic damages, including, but not limited to, changes in net agricultural productivity; impacts to public health; climate adaptation impacts, such as property damages from increased flood risk; and changes in energy system costs, per metric ton of greenhouse gas emission per year.” The legislation requires CARB to prioritize those rules and regulations that would result in direct emissions reductions at large stationary and mobile sources. AB 197 also creates oversight of future CARB greenhouse gas emissions reductions strategies by adding two legislators to the state board as ex-officio nonvoting members and creating a joint legislative committee that will make recommendations to the legislature concerning the state’s programs, policies, and investments related to climate change.