Economic Impacts of Major California Climate Change Goals

01 August 2016
By Dr. Paul Bernstein

NERA Associate Director Dr. Paul Bernstein authored a study that examines the potential economic impacts of the various choices of California’s climate policies on California’s economy and households. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) is in the process of developing an updated Scoping Plan that will propose specific regulatory approaches to achieve the Governor’s 2030 greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reduction target. As in its earlier Scoping Plan1 to achieve the 2020 emissions reduction target, the ARB may choose among many regulatory tools and measures to achieve the 2030 target. NERA relied upon publicly available information and NERA’s proprietary energy-economic model, NewERA, to conduct the analysis. In conclusion, Dr. Bernstein observes that there are many ways to achieve Governor Brown’s 2030 emissions reduction target. Limiting the use of policies that regulate sector-specific emissions, such as the LCFS and a petroleum reduction target for transportation emissions, and increasing the flexibility of the reduction measures, such as allowing for more offsets, can significantly reduce the economic impacts of achieving the 2030 target.