California Legislature Passes Carbon Reduction Bill

Sept. 8, 2022 – According to the California Construction and Industrial Materials Association (CalCIMA) as the California legislature concluded its 2021-22 session, it passed AB 2446, The California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, a bill to require carbon reductions in construction materials used in buildings and homes. AB 2446 designates the State Air Resources Board as the state agency charged with monitoring and regulating sources of emissions of greenhouse gases. 

The act requires the state board to adopt rules and regulations to achieve the maximum technologically feasible and cost-effective greenhouse gas emissions reductions and to ensure that statewide greenhouse gas emissions are reduced to at least 40% below the statewide greenhouse gas emissions limit no later than Dec. 31, 2030. This bill would require the state board, by July 1, 2025, to develop, in consultation with specified stakeholders, a framework for measuring and then reducing the average carbon intensity of the materials used in the construction of new buildings, including those for residential uses. 

The bill would require the framework to include a comprehensive strategy for the state’s building sector to achieve a 40% net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of building materials, as determined from a baseline calculated using a certain 2026 report, if that report is adequate, or as specified. The bill would require the strategy to achieve this target as soon as possible, but no later than Dec. 31, 2035, with an interim target of 20% net reduction by Dec. 31, 2030. 

The bill would authorize the state board to adjust the interim target, as provided, and would require the established targets to begin no sooner than Jan. 1, 2027. The bill would require the state board to form and maintain a technical advisory committee, as provided, to, among other things, review information that is required to be submitted by entities that are unable to meet the targets. 

The bill also would require the state board to research and prioritize actions and provisions that leverage state and federal incentives, as provided, and evaluate measures to support market demand and financial incentives to encourage the production and use of materials used in construction-related projects with low greenhouse gas intensity, as specified.

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