The California Air Resource Board (CARB), which is charged with implementing AB 32, California's climate change legislation, has released an economic analysis of the draft implementation plan for AB 32. The implementation plan is known as the Scoping Plan, and CARB's economic analysis of the Scoping Plan concludes that, by 2020, compliance with the mandatory GHG emission reductions contained in AB 32 will result in a small net benefit to California's economy in terms of State Domestic Product, per capita income, and job creation.
In terms of the State Domestic Product, CARB's analysis shows that the Scoping Plan will result in an increase of $4 billion dollars (or 0.2 percent) over business-as-usual estimates and will negatively impact only the utility sector and the retail sector (which includes sales of natural gas and liquid fossil fuels). Similarly, the Scoping Plan, as compared to business-as-usual will increase per capita income by $200 (0.3 percent) and employment by 100,000 (.6 percent). CARB attributes most of these benefits to savings resulting from reduced expenditures on energy as a result of significant investments in efficiency, as well as the fact that much of the money saved through efficiency may be pumped back into local economies. Additionally, the CARB report touts the long term benefits to California, in terms of job and revenue creation, of being at the forefront of green technology development.
CARB's economic analysis of the Scoping Plan is now the subject of an ongoing peer review process designed to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the analysis.