In 2006 the Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) became law in California. The Act set a requirement that greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 could not exceed 1990 levels. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) was charged with developing actions to reach that goal.
The Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) included a number of specific requirements:
- CARB to develop a scoping plan outlining actions to reduce emissions by 2020.
- Determine the level of greenhouse gas emissions in 1990 to serve as a benchmark and target.
- Adopt a regulation requiring reporting of greenhouse gas emission by the largest industrial sources.
- Identify and adopt regulations for actions enforceable on January 1, 2010. These included regulations affecting landfills, motor vehicle fuels, refrigerants in cars, tire pressure, port operations and others.
- Establish a system of market-based declining annual emission limits for greenhouse gases. In 2011 cap-and-trade was established for major sources of GHG emissions.
- Convene an Environmental Justice Advisory Committee (EJAC) to advise the CARB in developing plans and implementing AB 32.
- Appoint an Economic and Technology Advancement Advisory Committee (ETAAC) to recommend technologies, research and GHG reduction measures.