The Week Ahead: Climate Change on Agenda for California, Washington State


The California Air Resources Board will hold a public workshop Oct. 15 in Sacramento to solicit input on its strategy to achieve the state's greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals that calls for a new round of climate and clean air policies and regulations in all major industrial sectors.

As detailed in an Oct. 2 Energy and Climate Report article, the state's current policies and regulations have put the state on track to achieve its legal mandate to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, but additional measures are needed to attain the 2050 goal of cutting the emissions to one-fifth of 1990 levels.

Climate change also will be on the agenda of an Oct. 15 California Energy Commission's workshop as part of its draft "2013 Integrated Energy Policy Report." The draft report also covers energy efficiency, demand response, renewable energy, electricity use, nuclear power, natural gas and transportation fuels.

Washington State to Hold Climate Hearing

Meanwhile, Washington state's Climate Legislative and Executive Workgroup will hold the first of three public hearings Oct. 16 in Spokane to accept comments on approaches to reducing the state's greenhouse gas emissions. The second meeting is scheduled for Oct. 23 in Alaskan Way and the third on Dec. 6 in Olympia.

The workgroup includes Gov. Jay Inslee (D), state Sens. Doug Ericksen (R) and Kevin Ranker (D) and state Reps. Joe Fitzgibbon (D) and Shelly Short (R).

In 2008, the state Legislature set greenhouse gas emissions targets, including a reduction by 2020 to 1990 levels and to 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2035. The legislationrequires the work group to prioritize recommendations to meet state emissions reduction targets using best available science and cost-benefit analysis. The recommendations are to include a timeline for action and funding required for implementation. The legislation requires the work group to submit a report to the Legislature by Dec. 31.

RGGI to Hold Annual Board Meeting

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative will hold its annual board of directors meeting Oct. 17 in New York.

As covered in a Sept. 18 article, RGGI, with a few notable exceptions, has managed to maintain bipartisan support in the Northeast over the past several years despite changes in state administrations and the polarization of the issue of climate change in Washington.

RGGI, which covers greenhouse gas emissions from large power plants, includes the six New England states, plus New York, Delaware and Maryland.

EU Ministers to Reconsider Carbon Limits for Cars

European Union member state environment ministers will meet Oct. 14 in Luxembourg to consider a regulation to limit carbon dioxide emissions from private cars to 95 grams per kilometer (g/km, 152 grams per mile ) on average starting in 2020.

As detailed in an Oct. 7 article, the regulation, proposed by the European Commission in July 2012, was provisionally agreed to in June by negotiators from the European Parliament and the Presidency of the EU Council.

Other Climate, Energy Events

On Oct. 14, the Partnership for International Strategies in Asia will hold an event in Washington on "Indonesia's Approach Toward a Green Economy." Mubariq Ahmad, adviser for Climate Change Policy for the World Bank will be the featured speaker.

The Carpe Diem West Academy will hold a webinar Oct. 15 on "CMIP5 Updated Climate Models: Implications for Western Water Management." CMIP5 are models that were used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for its latest assessment. The models have been adjusted by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation for use by western state water managers. 

Bloomberg BNA is sponsoring a webinar Oct. 17, A New Action Plan: Taking the Initiative to Combat Climate Change. CLE credits will be available.