Policy Context for Global Climate Change Research

Research produced by the California Climate Change Center has been used to support the implementation of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Assembly Bill 32 or AB 32) and provides the Climate Action Team with the latest scientific information to meet the state's greenhouse gas reduction targets set by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in Executive Order S-3-05.

The adaptation studies funded by the center support the California Natural Resources Agency to identify how state agencies can respond to the effects of climate change in response to Governor Schwarzenegger's November 2008 Executive Order S-13-08 and per the direction in the 2009 California Climate Adaptation Strategy.

PIER Environmental Area (PIER-EA) research in the area of carbon capture and storage (CCS) is responsive to Executive Order S 3-05, which established three target reduction levels for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in California: 2000 levels by 2010; 1990 levels by 2020; and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. Assembly Bill 32 (AB 32), the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Núñez, Chapter 488, Statutes of 2006), California, led to the AB 32 Scoping Plan prepared by the Air Resources Board (ARB), which identified ways to meet the second target of reducing GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The AB 32 Scoping plan states that "...strategies to mitigate climate change, such as carbon capture and storage (underground geologic storage of carbon dioxide), should also be further explored" and "Potential technical (CO2) storage methods include geological storage, industrial fixation of CO2 into inorganic carbonates, and other strategies" and "While more research and development needs to occur, California should both support near-term advancement of the technology and ensure that an adequate framework is in place to provide credit for CCS projects when appropriate."

PIER-EA has also funded research in support of AB 1925 (Blakeslee, Chapter 471, Statutes of 2006) which called for "...a report to the Legislature containing recommendations for how the state can develop parameters to accelerate the adoption of cost-effective geological sequestration strategies for the long-term management of industrial carbon dioxide." (See Geologic Carbon Sequestration Strategies For California: Report To The Legislature). PIER-EA research activities in CCS follow the recommendation of the 2009 Integrated Energy Policy Report which calls for continued support of carbon capture and sequestration research and for the Legislature to establish legal structures to facilitate CCS projects. Progress in the research and development of CCS can also increase the number of options for compliance with SB 1368 (Perata, Chapter 598, Statutes of 2006), which mandates new or renewed long-term contracts to purchase electricity from baseload facilities owned by, or under long-term contract to publicly owned utilities, that meet the GHG emission performance standard of 1,100 lb. CO2 per megawatt-hour.