Implementation of the Climate Change Scoping Plan

This page last reviewed July 23, 2014


AB32 timeline

The initial Scoping Plan, approved by the Air Resources Board (ARB) December 11, 2008, provides the outline for actions to reduce California’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  Under AB 32, ARB and several other state agencies are required to adopt regulations and other initiatives to reduce the state’s GHG emissions.

The Path to 2020 and Beyond (graphic to the right) - shows where we are in the process of AB 32 implementation.  ARB has already adopted a number of regulations outlined in the initial Scoping Plan, and is continuing to implement Scoping Plan measures.  Under AB 32, the state must reduce GHG emissions to 1990 levels, or lower, by 2020.  In the long term, California established the aggressive goal of reducing emissions by 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 pursuant to Governor’s Executive Order S-3-05.

AB 32 requires ARB to update the Scoping Plan every five years.  The Scoping Plan Update approved by the Board in May 2014, identifies opportunities to leverage existing and new funds to further drive GHG emission reductions through strategic planning and targeted low carbon investments. 

The Update defines ARB’s climate change priorities for the next five years and sets the groundwork to reach California's long-term climate goals set forth in Executive Orders S-3-05 and B-16-2012. The Update highlights California’s progress toward meeting the near-term 2020 GHG emission reduction goals defined in the initial Scoping Plan.  These efforts put California on course to achieve the near-term 2020 goal, and have created a framework for ongoing climate action that can be built upon to maintain and continue economic sector-specific reductions beyond 2020, as required by AB 32.

In this Update, nine key focus areas were identified (energy, transportation, agriculture, water, waste management, and natural and working lands), along with short-lived climate pollutants, green buildings, and the Cap-and-Trade Program. 

These key focus areas have overlapping and complementary interests that will require careful coordination in California’s future climate and energy policies. These focus areas were selected to address issues that underlie multiple sectors of the economy.  As such, each focus area is not limited to a single economic sector, but has far-reaching impacts within many economic sectors.

More information about the Scoping Plan Update, can be found at: