International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE)

Date of Award

5-2016

Degree Type

Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P)

Department

International Development, Community and Environment

Chief Instructor

Gregory Trencher

Second Reader

Emma Cotnoir

Abstract

To prevent global warming from surpassing 2°C and minimize extreme weather events, action must be taken to combat greenhouse gases (GHGs) that pose a greater short-term threat. Short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) have a short lifespan paired with high global warming potentials in the atmosphere. By targeting SLCPs, short-term success in combating climate change will encourage long-term investment. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has been tasked with developing a strategy to combat SLCPs pursuant to Senate Bill 605. The overall objective of this paper is to examine the policies ARB plans to implement to tackle methane emissions in the natural gas sector. Methods include secondary research, as well as a review of stakeholder comments and analysis of the Draft Strategy released in September 2015. As a result, the paper concludes that the Draft Strategy does not sufficiently address emissions from natural gas. In order to do so, policies promoting renewable natural gas, as well as mandating an upgrade to the natural gas infrastructure are necessary.

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