Friday, February 15, 2008

Los Angeles GHG Credit Program Announced

GHG credit markets are taking on a local flavor.

At its February 1, 2008 meeting, the South Coast Air Quality Management District governing board approved a workplan for implementing a voluntary GHG emission reduction credit program, known as SoCal Climate Solutions Exchange Program.

An overview of the Program and workplan are available here:

One likely use of the GHG credits would be in conjunction with the mitigation requirements imposed by CEQA.  Concerns are already being raised about the compatibility of this Program with the cap-and-trade system being developed by the California Air Resources Board.

District staff intend to develop the contours of this Program, including protocols for measuring emission reductions, over the coming months with the goal of presenting the final plan to the District governing board for approval in September 2008.

- Brett

Monday, February 11, 2008

Fees for GHG Emissions

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has proposed a fee for emissions of GHGs from all facilities with stationary sources in its jurisdiction. The proposed fee has been cited in the press as in essence a carbon tax, but it is not. It is a cost-recovery fee to fund the Air District's GHG programs, principally developing an inventory of GHG emissions. The amount of the fee -- $0.042 per ton of CO2 equivalent -- is so low that it is not likely to have a significant effect on GHG emissions. The largest emitter of CO2 in the Bay Area will, according to the Contra Costa Times, pay less than $200,000 per year. Nevertheless, the fee is significant because it will be the first such fee imposed on CO2 emissions in California. More are sure to come.


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

CEQA Significance Determinations

CEQA significance determinations have been the focus of much of the early climate change litigation in Calfiornia. The California Air Pollution Control Officers Association has a new white paper on how to determine whether greenhouse gas emissions from a project are significant under CEQA, how to measure GHG emissions, and how to mitigate GHG effects. The white paper is written as a guide for local agencies, but it may also interest project proponents. The white paper is available at