This blog was co-authored by Andrew Hobbs and Karen Laughlin.

This week CPI is pleased to launch our new beta California Carbon Dashboard—a one-stop site for information on California’s portfolio of climate policies, current carbon prices, and news aggregation.

The California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB32) set into motion a suite of policies to reduce California’s economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020—and set California, again, out in front as a climate policy test bed for the United States. AB32 established a cap and trade program for California as well as many sector-specific complementary policies to achieve the 2020 state target.

California’s climate package is leading edge, so there is plenty of information out there on AB32’s policies and processes. Locating the quick or in-depth information you want or need, however, can be a challenge. So, as we gathered information for our more in-depth analyses on California’s climate policy effectiveness, CPI decided to build a one-stop dashboard to provide policymakers, stakeholders, and the public—in California, in the U.S., and the world—a user-friendly tool to learn about how California’s climate policies fit together and to get current updates.

Let us give you a quick tour to highlight the Dashboard features that you might find useful:

CARBON PRICE. Our carbon price tracker charts the price history of 2013 vintage California GHG allowance futures as reported by ICE. Curious about the carbon price last April?  Mouse over the graph and find it. We also provide links to find prices for future year vintages.

NEWS CORNER. In the upper right hand corner, the news corner feeds you the latest news on AB32 from three sources: Google News, CARB, and Twitter.  Each provides an interesting, and certainly different, take on the latest California climate policy happenings.

COMPLEMENTARY POLICIES GRAPHIC. We’re excited about the first graphic tabbed just below the news corner, so let us walk you through it. This waterfall chart illustrates how the suite of complementary policies contributes to California’s 2020 reduction goal, starting at the top bar with projected business-as-usual California emissions and ending at the bottom bar with expected California emissions with implementation of all AB32 policies except the cap and trade program (back to that in a moment). Mouse over the bars or complementary policies to see sector-specific information. Click on any complementary policy to learn more.

Lastly, the color coding allows you to distinguish which of these sectors are covered (red) and not covered (yellow) by the cap. You’ll note that the bottom bar shows that complementary policies addressing capped sectors (red) do not reduce the emissions all the way below the cap. That’s where the cap and trade program’s backstop roll shines: The carbon price from the program will drive the remaining ~22.5% of reductions in the capped sectors. And, if the complementary policies fall below expectations, then the cap and trade program will ensure that the sectors achieve those additional reductions.

EMISSIONS CAP GRAPHIC. One tab over from the complementary policies graphic, the emissions cap graphic shows how the cap and trade program’s coverage evolves over time.  In particular, it emphasizes how the cap becomes more stringent over time. Note that the cap pops up in 2015: that’s because transportation fuels and natural gas do not fall over the cap until 2015. Mouse over a sector to learn how allowances are distributed to each sector under the program.

EMISSIONS HISTORY GRAPHIC. One more tab over, the emissions history graphic provides sector-specific emissions from 2001 until 2011.

CAP AND TRADE PROGRAM. To the left of the interactive graphics, the Dashboard provides an overview of California’s cap and trade program, including a link to a great cap and trade primer by C2ES. Learn the structural details of California’s approach to cap and trade—from allowance auctions and free allocation processes to offsets—in the drop-down menu further below. For each cap and trade element, the Dashboard links you to the right place to visit on the California Air Resources Board website to learn more.

We look forward to adding more features and improvements to the California Carbon Dashboard in the coming months and year. For now, we hope you find it useful, and share it with others who will as well.



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