California’s cap and trade system will begin operation in 2013. It will be the most ambitious, comprehensive climate change program in the U.S., helping California reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2020: 6% below 2009 levels and 12% below the peak in 2007.
As our recent analysis shows, if greenhouse gas and air quality regulators work together effectively, cap and trade can bring cleaner air to California and better health to Californians.
California’s Air Resources Board has already taken a step in the right direction, requiring large facilities to conduct industrial audits to assess energy efficiency opportunities that will lead to greenhouse gas and local air pollution emissions reductions.
The data from these audits are slated to be available online by the end of this year. It’s not yet clear what level of detail the data will provide, but more detail is better: It means a larger number of people will know exactly where facilities can make changes that will yield cleaner air.