Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, November 08, 2007

California's plan to mandate OA for greenhouse gas data

California wants to mandate reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and then provide OA to the data.  From the November 6 press release:

On Oct. 19, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released a draft rule that would create an extensive mandatory greenhouse gas reporting system and held a public workshop to review the proposal on Oct. 31. The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (A.B. 32) requires CARB to adopt regulations creating a greenhouse gas registry by Jan. 1, 2008, putting in place what appears to be the country's most comprehensive and sophisticated greenhouse gas registry.

The proposed regulations were developed with input from public and private stakeholders, state agencies and the general public. Modeled after the California Climate Action Registry (CCAR), a voluntary greenhouse gas reporting program started in 2001, the regulations detail which industrial sectors will report, what the reporting and verification thresholds and requirements will be, and how calculations will be made. Approximately 800 facilities will be required to report greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which CARB estimates will represent 94 percent of California's total carbon dioxide production from stationary sources....

Facilities will also have to get third-party verification that reports are accurate....

Though the proposed rule does not specifically direct the creation of an online searchable database, California state law requires all emissions reporting to be publicly accessible....

At least four other states (CT, ME, NJ, WI) have, albeit more limited, mandatory GHG reporting requirements. Another 38 states have committed to create similar programs with the voluntary Climate Registry. California's program appears to be the most ambitious effort to track the exact sources of GHG emissions.

After the public comment period, final review of the proposed regulations will begin on Dec. 6. Federal legislation creating a national greenhouse gas inventory is pending.

Update. Glyn Moody summarizes succinctly: Using a commons to protect a commons.