ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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ISO Standards Guide Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Reductions

California at Odds over Historic Greenhouse Gas Emissions Bill

New York, Aug 24, 2006

With one week left before the close of the legislative session, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and California lawmakers are still at odds over a proposed bill that would make California the first state to cap greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Aiming to decrease GHG emissions by 25% by 2020, Assembly Bill 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, mandates businesses to track and monitor their greenhouse gas emissions.

The most contentious point surrounding the bill is whether it should allow a cap-and-trade emission program by which companies would be permitted to buy and sell emissions credits. Such a program, the governor says, would drive a market for improved environmental performance and allow certain industries that would likely not be able to meet the reductions to continue operating in the state.

A main issue at play is how regulators would monitor the system to be sure those companies in other states or countries trading credits with California businesses are in fact reducing their GHG emissions to stated levels.

A three-part International Standard published last March by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a potential tool for government and businesses to assess GHG reduction and is designed to facilitate the trade of GFG credits. The standard provides clear and consistent measurement of emission reduction projects and can be used by organizations participating in voluntary or regulatory initiatives.

The three parts of ISO 14064 can be used independently or in combination to meet the specific needs of a given GHG program:

ISO 14064 will be complemented by ISO/DIS 14065, Greenhouse Gases -- Requirements for Greenhouse Gas Validation and Verification Bodies for Use in Accreditation or Other Forms of Recognition, which is currently under development by the ISO. Slotted for release in early 2007, ISO 14065 will guide the accreditation of bodies that seek GHG verification using ISO 14064 or other pertinent standards.

The 14064 suite of standards belongs to the ISO 14000 family of standards covering environmental management topics including environmental assessment of sites and organizations, environmental auditing, and life cycle assessment.

The Assembly Bill 32 can be read at www.assembly.ca.gov

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