After months of stakeholder meetings, speculation, and preliminary reports, the California Air Resources Board has finally adopted official targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, as mandated by SB 375. The targets were announced this past Thursday, Sept. 23, in compliance with the law's Sept. 30 deadline.
SB 375 encourages reduction in greenhouse gases by providing incentives for cities to reduce vehicle miles traveled through compact development and more efficient coordination between land use and transportation. The targets are expressed as percentage reduction per capita in the state's four largest metropolitan planning organizations. Therefore, due to population growth is it unclear whether SB 375, even if properly implemented, will promote an absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
They announcement was somewhat anticlimactic because the official targets are exactly what ARB staff had recommended in a report published August 9 (CP&DR blog 9 Aug. 2010). They are as follows:
Metropolitan Transportation Commission (Bay Area): 7 percent - 2020; 15 percent - 2035
San Diego Association of Governments: 7 percent - 2020; 13 percent - 2035
Sacramento Area Council of Governments: 7 percent - 2020; 16 percent - 2035
Southern California Association of Governments: 8 percent - 2020; 13 percent - 2035
San Joaquin Valley MPOs (eight MPOs) placeholder targets: 5 percent - 2020; 10 percent - 2035; official targets to be considered in 2012.
CP&DR will have full coverage of the target-adoption process and its significance for California cities in an upcoming issue. For more information in SB 375, please visit CP&DR's SB 375 Resources Page.