How should California address climate change post-2020?

Current law sets carbon reduction limits for 2020. For the last nine years, politicians, regulators and special interests have claimed success, all while writing and amending regulations, litigating and spending money taxed from just a few obligated companies under the current climate programs.

Carbon Regulation in California

California is a national and international driving force in climate change regulations, conspicuous in the absence of comprehensive regulation in other states or by the federal government.

In 2006, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature passed a landmark statute setting mandatory greenhouse gas emission reductions. AB 32, by then-Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, directed the California Air Resources Board (ARB) to develop a regulation to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, equivalent to a 30% reduction compared to a business as usual trend.

Climate Change

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Monitor implementation of AB 32 climate change legislation and its impact on California businesses, including Air Resources Board (ARB) activities;

Support risk management and corporate strategies to help lessen the financial burden of climate change mitigation efforts;

Support national/global efforts that could help California businesses grow and promote their technologies/services elsewhere.

Major Victories

Stopped legislation in 2015 leading to fuel price increases through an arbitrary petroleum use cutback (SB 350).

Stopped proposals leading to fuel price increases, including two that increased energy costs by allocating funds from an illegal tax to various programs that are not needed to cost-effectively implement the market-based trading mechanism under AB 32, the state’s landmark climate change law.


Climate regulations should be monitored vigilantly to ensure they are meeting their greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals in a way that minimizes adverse effects on economic growth and development.

The proof of California’s leadership on climate change policy will be in how other states, and even nations, look to our example as one worthy of emulating. Since climate change is a global phenomenon, California’s most important response will be designing and implementing efficient and effective policy mechanisms to reduce GHG emissions and encourage policy and technological innovation.

As the Legislature and administration consider additional climate change policies in 2016, the CalChamber will advocate three themes:

  • That state leaders examine how well GHG regulations have worked to date, their impacts on the economy overall and on various industrial and economic sectors, and how those regulations can be improved.
  • That any new legislative or regulatory scheme use market mechanisms as its foundation, with the goal being the most cost-effective solutions to GHG reduction mandates.
  • That the Legislature exert its appropriate authority and responsibility to set state climate change policy, especially since the economic effects will be very expensive and reverberate for many years, and that the Legislature exert its oversight responsibilities regularly and extensively as the regulatory implementation develops.

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Climate Change Bills


Policy Contact

Amy-Mmagu-2011-300x300Amy Mmagu
Policy Advocate
Climate Change,
Energy, Environmental