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Regulatory framework

California has adopted a wide variety of regulations aimed at reducing the State's GHG emissions. The adoption and implementation of this legislation demonstrates California's leadership in addressing this critical challenge. The State of California has taken a number of recent steps to address climate change, to which local governments will need to respond.

U.S. Mayors Climate Action Protection Agreement

Mayors from around the nation, including Santa Ana, have signed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. This Agreement urges federal and state governments to enact policies and programs to meet the Kyoto Protocol target of a 7 percent reduction in emissions below 1990 levels, and commits their local agencies to strive to take actions to meet the Kyoto Protocol targets.

CA Executive Order S-03-05

An Executive Order was signed by the Governor in 2005 to reduce statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as follows:

  • Reduce emissions to 2000 levels by 2010.
  • Reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 (1990 levels are roughly equivalent to a 25 percent reduction in GHG compared to current levels).
  • Reduce emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Assembly Bill 32

train depotThe State of California enacted Assembly Bill (AB) 32, the Global Warming Act of 2006, which requires statewide greenhouse gas reduction targets of 15 percent by 2020 in order to reach 1990 emissions levels, and to reduce emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. Reporting of greenhouse gases by major sources is mandated by the California Global Warming Solutions Act, which went into effect January 2009. To implement the provisions of AB 32, additional State legislation has required local governments to address climate change. Notable examples include Senate Bill 97 and Senate Bill 375.

Senate Bill 97

By enacting Senate Bill (SB) 97 in 2007, California's lawmakers recognized the need to analyze GHG emissions as a part of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process. SB 97 required the Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR) to prepare amendments to the CEQA Guidelines for the mitigation of GHG emissions, including effects associated with transportation and energy consumption.

California's Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan

In 2008 the California Public Utilities Commission adopted California's first Long Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan, presenting a single roadmap to achieve maximum energy savings across all major groups and sectors in California. This comprehensive Plan for 2009 to 2020 is the State's first integrated framework of goals and strategies for saving energy; covering government, utility, and private sector actions; and holding energy efficiency as the highest priority resource in meeting California's energy needs.

Senate Bill 375

Senate Bill (SB) 375 was enacted in 2009 to reduce GHG emissions from automobiles and light trucks through integrated transportation, land use, housing and environmental planning. Under the law, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is tasked with developing a Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS), a newly required element of the 2012 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) that provides a plan for meeting emissions reduction targets set forth by the California Air Resources Board (ARB). SCAG will establish and meet a regional GHG emission reduction target for cars and light trucks through the SCS.

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