Transportation is a major contributor of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas emissions from human activity, accounting for approximately 14 percent of total anthropogenic emissions globally and about 27 percent in the U.S. The passage of Assembly Bill (AB) 32, California's Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, represents one of the most ambitious state-level regulatory actions taken in the country to address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It requires a reduction of GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) sought to develop a plan to achieve the emission targets set forth by this law.
In response to this, TSRC - in conjunction with the Institute of Transportation Studies-Davis and the University of California Transportation Center (UCTC) - explored a range of policy approaches (e.g., cap and trade, budgets, and feebates) and mechanisms for reducing GHG emissions (e.g., smart growth and ITS) for implementing AB 32. This project sought to: 1) develop a deeper understanding of the impact of AB 32 on the transportation sector through a literature review and expert interviews and 2) commence a discussion among key transportation stakeholders regarding the implementation of the AB 32 regulations through the development of a series of white papers and stakeholder workshops (Northern and Southern California, co-sponsored with CARB and the California Energy Commission (CEC) in 2008). These workshops targeted high-level stakeholders including: the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), CARB, CEC, city and county representatives, Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), Air Quality Management Districts (AQMDs), transit operators, academics, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Results of this initiative help to inform CARB to develop a plan for implementing the AB 32 regulations.