AB32: Energy Retrofits
AB32: Energy Retrofits for Low-Income Households
California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32) aims to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent, bringing them back down to 1990 levels by 2020.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB), an 11-member body appointed by the governor, is the lead agency for implementing the legislation. After Gov. Schwarzenegger signed the bill in 2006, CARB spent two years working on a “Scoping Plan” that details the means for meeting the measure’s ambitious emissions-reduction targets. The recommendations in the plan will be fashioned into regulations subject to the agency’s usual rule-making process.
CARB focused on market-based mechanisms, explaining that “The development of a California cap-and-trade program that links with other Western Climate Initiative partner programs to create a regional market system is a central feature of the overall recommendation.” But its plan also included recommendations for green buildings, which opens the door to local projects that can increase social equity as well as reduce emissions. These projects will be competing against those that benefit larger, better-funded stakeholders—with decisions made by an agency that is not readily held accountable to diverse communities.