State of California

Jurisdiction:  State of California
Plan Year:  2006

Update Years: 2014 Scoping Plan updated which define ARB’s climate change priorities for the next five years and lay the groundwork to reach long-term goals.  It also highlights progress toward meeting the near-term 2020 GHG emission reduction goals.


California’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions program represents the first multi-sector cap-and-trade program in North America. This legislation requires California to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

The AB 32 Scoping Plan identifies a cap-and-trade program as one of the strategies California will employ to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that cause climate change. This program will help put California on the path to meet its goal of reducing GHG emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020, and ultimately achieving an 80% reduction from 1990 levels by 2050. Under cap-and-trade, an overall limit on GHG emissions from capped sectors will be established by the cap-and-trade program and facilities subject to the cap will be able to trade permits (allowances) to emit GHGs.

The Scoping Plan update includes a focus on six major sectors where the challenges and rewards of successful future climate action are most compelling: 1) transportation and fuels (including infrastructure and land use); 2) energy generation (including transmission infrastructure and efficiency); 3) waste; 4) water; 5) natural lands; and 6) agriculture.

CalRecycle and Air Resources Board (ARB) staff have worked together to develop a Waste Management Sector Plan addressing greenhouse gas emissions from waste management activities to achieve the 75%recycling goal of AB 341 and inform the development of the AB 32 2013 Scoping Plan Update.

The draft framework consists of a Waste Management Sector Overview paper, accompanying technical papers covering the various waste management options and Implementation Plan (below).

Materials Management Goals

  • Achieving net-zero GHG emissions from the waste sector by mid-term (between 2020 and 2050)
  • 2050 goal: Achieve a 24% reduction in direct GHG emissions from mid-term levels

California's Scoping Plan also included these principles and priorities to guide the work:

  • Take full ownership of the waste generated in California
  • Maximize recycling and diversion from landfills
  • Build the infrastructure needed to support a sustainable, low-carbon waste management system within California
  • Improve the sustainability of California’s Waste Management Infrastructure
  • Reduce the volume of waste generated

Progress Report Highlights:

  • Published a Scoping Plan, which focuses on six major sectors including waste, is central to developing regulations that will reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
  • Established a 75% recycling rate for California
  • Established a $25 million program for CalRecycle to provide financial incentives for capital investments in composting/anaerobic digestions infrastructure and recycling manufacturing facilities that will result in reduced greenhouse gas emissions

Next Steps:

  • Revise, update and develop emissions reduction factors
  • Identify permitting redundancies, conflicts and opportunities with current and future programs
  • Investigate and identify funding and incentives for infrastructure
  • Initiate and provide education for the public, project developers and local jurisdictions including benefits of recycling and remanufacture in California and purchasing California recycled products
  • Evaluate and promote markets for diverted materials and standardize quality of products
  • Develop and promote source reduction principles and new product stewardship programs
  • Conduct research that supports various aspects of the waste scoping plan implementation
  • Investigate a Cap and Trade program to incentivize waste sector goals and objectives
  • Evaluate and recommend regulatory options including but not limited to disposal of organics, landfill emission standards, and mandatory recycling of specific materials.
  • Provide education on State Procurement requirements to all State agency purchasing officials and all staff within agencies, as well as state contractors, who purchase materials
  • Identify and support markets for recycled, reused, and remanufactured materials.
  • Evaluate opportunities to source reduce and promote reuse of materials
  • Promote front end design parameters to foster recycling and recyclability

Additional Resources: