Tuesday, September 15, 2009

AAEA Assists in Passage of California Climate Bill

AAEA worked with the Union of Concerned Scientists and a large coalition of other groups to get the California Legislature to pass AB 1404, Global Warming Compliance Offsets & Air Quality Act. AB 1404 ensures that policies used to reach California’s global warming pollution reduction goals maximize environmental and public health benefits for the state—particularly through limiting the use of compliance offsets and prioritizing what offsets are used to benefit California communities. The legislation was cosponsored by Assembly Members Kevin De León, left, V. Manuel Pérez, right, and Wilmer Amina Carter, below. The bill now goes to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to be signed into law.
The bill:

1. Limits the use of compliance offsets to no more than 10 percent of the emission reductions expected to be achieved through market mechanisms in each compliance period of AB 32 implementation. This limit applies regardless of whether a cap-and-trade program is implemented.
2. Establishes requirements for verifying and tracking compliance offsets to ensure that they are real, not double-counted or sold more than once, and do not cause harm to the environment or public health.
3. Requires the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to prioritize the use of offsets that provide air quality benefits to communities already suffering from disproportionate levels of air pollution, particularly focusing on the air basin in which the offset purchaser resides, and that provide environmental and public health benefits to the state of
4. Prohibits offsets from the Kyoto Protocol’s international Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) to be used for compliance with California global warming regulations. A large majority of CDM projects do not actually reduce emissions. They have been proven to be “non-additional,” which means that they would have occurred under business as usual without CDM funding

Special thanks to Erin Rogers for pushing us to support this legislation and for consistently keeping us in the loop to aggressively participate in the lobbying effort. (UCS)

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