California’s climate leadership position in the U.S. was solidified on January 20, 2017 – coincidentally Inauguration Day in Washington- when the California Air Resources Board released its 2017 Scoping Plan Update: The Proposed Plan for Achieving California’s 2030 Greenhouse Gas Target . Proposals include a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 – the most ambitious target in North America, according to a Reuters report . The plan also extends the cap-and-trade program to 2030, based on economic modelling which concludes that cap-and-trade is the lowest cost, most efficient policy approach and provides certainty that the state will meet the 2030 emissions goals even if other measures fall short. The Scoping Plan also call for an 18 percent reduction in the carbon intensity of transportation fuels burned in the state, and for 4.2 million zero-emission vehicles on the road. The proposals, a hearings schedule, and technical appendices are all available at the ARB website .
Another economic analysis evaluating cap-and-trade was published in January by Next10. The Economic Impacts of California’s Major Climate Programs On The San Joaquin Valley , analyses the costs and benefits, including job gain and loss, of three programs: Cap- and- trade, the Renewables Portfolio Standard, and energy efficiency programs, specific to the to the San Joaquin Valley economy. The authors chose to examine the San Joaquin as a “a bellwether of the state’s transition to a low-carbon economy” since its geography and dependence on agriculture make it vulnerable to climate change effects , and vulnerable also to climate policies because “it faces more socioeconomic challenges than the state as a whole”. After examining the data and using advanced modeling software, they found that the three programs brought over $13 billion in economic benefits to the Valley, mostly in renewable energy, and created over 31,000 jobs just in the renewable energy sector alone. Research and analysis was done by academics at the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE) at UC Berkeley Law and UC Berkeley’s Donald Vial Center on Employment in the Green Economy .