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Recycler’s Primer on Climate Change: AB 32 and Other CA Climate Policy

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Recycler’s Primer on Climate Change: AB 32 and Other CA Climate Policy

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  1. CRRA’s 32nd Annual Conference: Carbonopoly Recycler’s Primer on Climate Change: AB 32 and Other CA Climate Policy Nick LapisPolicy Associate Californians Against

  2. Overview • Broad overview of California climate change laws, policies, & regulations • Why recycling reduces greenhouse gas emissions • Opportunities for greenhouse gas savings in waste-related sectors • Next steps

  3. Broad Overview: California GHG Initiatives AB 32 (California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006) • Reduce GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 (~ 174 Million tons of CO2 need to be reduced) • Directed California Air Resources Board (CARB or ARB) to meet goal, without explicit instructios Governor’s Executive Orders • 2050 Goal – 80% below 1990 ghg levels • Low Carbon Fuel Standard • Climate Action Team Attorney General’s Suits (GHG impact in EIR/EIS) • California Environmental Quality Act (CA’s “Baby NEPA”) • Municipal and corporate mitigation of GHG impacts

  4. Statewide GHG Initiatives (cont’d) CIWMB GHG Strategies • Proposed Early Action Measures: Multi-family and Commercial Recycling, Increased Curbside, Landfill Gas Capture, Landfill Reporting, and Demo Grants. • Strategic Directives: Directive 6 – Reduce organics by 50% Local Initiatives • Local government protocols (ARB / CCAR / ICLEI / TCR) • ICLEI – Cities for Climate Protection Campaign (CCP) • Local GHG inventories • League of Cities / Institute for Local Government – Climate Action Network Best Practices Certification program • Points for exceeding diversion goals, diverting organics, expanding recycling, and providing incentives for siting recycling infrastructure • Sierra Club – “Cool Counties”: 80% reduction by 2050 (US Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement) • Bay Area Air Quality Management District – $0.04/ton CO2 fee

  5. AB 32 Timeline • Jun. 30, 2007: Discrete Early Action Measures • July 1, 2007: Environmental Justice Advisory Committee & Economic/Tech Advancement Advisory Committee • Jan. 1, 2008 : Determination of 1990 baseline levels & mandatory reporting for biggest emitters • Jan. 1, 2009 : Approval of scoping plan for reductions by 2020 (update every 5 years) • Jan. 1, 2010 : Adopt regulations for early action measures • Jan. 1, 2011 : Adopt regulations for scoping plan • Jan. 1, 2012 : Emission limits begin • Jan. 2, 2020 : Emission reductions achieved and stay in force beyond 2020

  6. 1990 Inventory and 2020 Target • AB 32 requires the Air Resources Board to develop an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions for 1990, which would be the 2020 goal AB 32 Reductions = 2020 business-as-usual projection ─ 2020 goal (≈174 MMTCO2e) • Controversial waste issues in this inventory (and others): • LFG collection efficiency • Which Global Warming Potential (GWP)? • How to prioritize actions that are not reflected in inventories? • Landfill carbon sink / sequestration • (Atmospheric Flow Approach: “emissions” and “removals” of GHGs)

  7. Early Action Measures and Mandatory Reporting • ARB directed to adopt “Discrete Early Actions” before developing the rest of their AB 32 strategy • One of the first 3 Early Action Measures was to increase landfill methane capture • The regulations are currently in draft form (mostly based on various air district requirements) • LFG systems on smaller landfills • 200 ppm surface concentrations • LFG systems installed sooner • ARB directed to require mandatory reporting of GHG emissions • Landfills not included in first year of reporting • No clear methodology for measuring fugitive emissions

  8. AB 32 Scoping Plan

  9. Market Mechanisms • AB 32 allows for cap-and-trade, but does not mandate it • Conventional wisdom: California will have cap-and-auction system • Probably linked regionally with Western Climate Initiative states • 60% of reductions will come from “core measures” • 40% from some mix of direct regulations, incentives, fees, taxes, and cap-and-auction

  10. Offsets • California Climate Action Registry (CCAR) • Legislatively created non-profit charged with voluntary tracking greenhouse gas emissions • Develops quantification protocols • These protocols will then be adopted by CARB and The Climate Registry (TCR) • Increased recycling is a very cost-effective GHG reduction measure. (Even cost negative?) • Protocols need to be developed for a future market.

  11. Currently Adopted Landfill Gas (methane destruction) Manure digester Proposed Methane avoidance Ag N2O Water Demand Manufacturing Glass Other? Fleets Hybrid Trucks Offset Protocols In Development • Local Government Operations Up Next • Community Emissions Protocol

  12. Waste-Related GHG Reduction Opportunities Why spend so much time focusing on the Waste-Climate Change connection? Because waste offers a significant opportunity for cost effective measures to reduce greenhouse gases across sectors.

  13. CAT Estimated Waste Sector Reductions Overall AB 32 goal ~174 Million Tons CO2

  14. CAT Estimated Waste Sector Reductions Recycling Recycling Recycling Recycling Recycling Overall AB 32 goal ~174 Million Tons CO2

  15. GHG Reduction Opportunities • Landfill gas collection requirements reduce fugitive methane emissions • Recycling reduces GHG emissions from mining, transportation, processing, and manufacturing • Composting reduces GHGs through methane avoidance and carbon sequestration • Compost application reduces GHGs through decreased water demand and fertilizer / pesticide / herbicide use • Manufacturing with secondary materials reduces emissions

  16. Tools for Reducing Landfill Emissions • Landfill gas collection requirements (with tough surface concentrations limitations and early installation) • Market based incentives to destroy methane (i.e. carbon offsets) • Policies to target reduction of methane-generating organics (i.e. disposal limits, cover practices)

  17. Landfill Controls (ctd.) • Regulating landfills is important - enough WIP to justify requiring new emission reduction practices • But even the strongest emission reductions from LF’s do not compare to the possible avoided emissions from reducing, reusing, and recycling the materials instead of disposing of them • Even at 100% LFG collection efficiency: the best we can say is that we have minimized the pollution from wasting 42 million tons of resources (CA’s annual disposal) • The reality is every ton of WIP represents multiple tons of avoided GHG emissions not achieved

  18. Diverting 35% of CA’s Materials Currently Disposed (WaRM) The Point: Recycling is a far bigger opportunity than landfills (even using WaRM)

  19. Increased Commercial andMultifamily Recycling The commercial sector is highly underserved by the recycling industry. • At 65% of disposed waste, it offers an opportunity to substantially reduce greenhouse gases while stimulating the economy. Multifamily residents recycle at a far lower rate than single family dwellings. • ~1 Million tons of CO2 avoided if multifamily recycled at same rate as rest of the state.

  20. Maximizing other Recycling • Incentives for using secondary materials • Maximizing cullet use reduces energy demand of glass production • Recycled aluminum in cars • Bottle bill expansions • Diversion requirements • Disposal limits for readily recyclable materials

  21. Composting and Compost Application • Avoided methane emissions at landfills. • Carbon sequestered in compost through creation of nutrient rich soils (maybe) • Application of compost results in: • Reduced water transport emissions (reduces irrigation by 30% to 70%) • Reduced N2O emissions (GWP: 296) • Increased plant storage of CO2 vs.

  22. Increasing GHG Reductions from Organics Diversion • Food scraps collection tackles the most prevalent item in the waste stream • Food is highly putrescible and readily compostable and anaerobically digestible • Unprecedented hurdles for composting facilities require concentrated effort to site facilities and help operators comply with regulatory hurdles. • Financial incentives for avoiding methane at landfills and N2O from synthetic fertilizers (offsets or direct payments) • Local take back: parks, golf courses, landscaping

  23. AB 32 Scoping Plan

  24. Summary • Recycling is a proven technology, it is cost-effective and economically stimulating, and it is incredibly popular • Strong push needed to ensure that waste reduction, recycling, and composting are incentivized through state climate efforts

  25. CRRA’s 32nd Annual Conference: Carbonopoly Questions? Nick LapisPolicy Associate Californians Against