The Draft 2022 Scoping Plan Update takes an all-of-the-above approach to decarbonize California.

By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Brian McCall

On May 10, 2022, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released its Draft 2022 Scoping Plan Update for public review and comment. Originally, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 required CARB to develop a scoping plan, to be updated every five years, that describes the approach California will take to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions to achieve the goal of reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

Subsequently, Senate Bill 32 strengthened the state’s GHG emissions reductions target to at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and former Governor Jerry Brown’s Executive Order B-55-18 established a second statewide goal to achieve carbon neutrality as soon as possible, and no later than 2045. Recognizing the need to achieve GHG emissions reductions more quickly, in July 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom directed CARB to accelerate efforts to achieve the state’s climate stabilization and GHG reduction goals, including to “identify a pathway for achieving carbon neutrality a full decade earlier than the existing target of 2045.” The Draft Scoping Plan Update identifies CARB’s proposed path for how California can reach both its interim goal of reducing GHGs by at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030, and its ultimate goal of carbon neutrality by 2045 along with pathways that would achieve carbon neutrality by 2035.

The Chinese Communist Party’s policy plans include an increased focus on climate change and a more open trade environment.

By Paul Davies, Ethan Prall and Andrew Westgate

The Central Committee, the top-level authority of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), recently concluded its Fifth Plenary Session and created China’s 14th Five Year Plan (the Plan). The Five Year Plan is the primary policy document for the CCP, covering a variety of social, economic, and foreign policy topics, and effectively serving as the CCP’s political platform. The Fifth Plenary was attended by 198 members of the Central Committee, including President Xi Jinping in his role as General Secretary of the Central Committee (his most important title). The full text of the new Plan is not yet public, but a communique summarizing the discussions at the Plenary has been released (Chinese version only). The communique indicates that the CCP will continue its focus on developing environmental governance policies through 2025, and the party will also prioritize aggressive climate policies aimed at reaching the 2060 carbon neutrality target recently announced by President Xi.

The UK citizens’ assembly identifies overarching principles and makes specific recommendations for achieving the environmental goal.

By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green


The Climate Assembly UK has published its report on how the UK can achieve its statutory target for net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The report, which was released on 10 September 2020, followed more than a month of weekend meetings (some of which took place remotely due to the pandemic). Participants underwent a three-stage process of learning, discussion, and decision-making.

Comprising 108 members of the public, the citizens’ assembly was commissioned in June 2019 by six Select Committees of the House of Commons, including the Environmental Audit and Business Energy and Industrial Strategy. The House of Commons sponsored the initiative, with two philanthropic organisations providing additional funding and not-for-profit organisations organising the assembly

The government provides further details on UK carbon pricing after Brexit.

By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green

On 14 July 2020, the UK government published the draft Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Order 2020 (the Order), establishing a framework for the potential UK Emissions Trading System (UK ETS). Subsequently, on 21 July 2020, the government published a consultation on the operation of a potential new carbon emissions tax.

The European Commission has also established a mechanism to assist the transition of regions that will be more profoundly impacted by the 2050 carbon-neutrality target.

By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green

On 11 December 2019, the European Union announced that it would enshrine into legislation its goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 (see “EU Commission Formally Announces European Green Deal”). The European Green Deal Investment Plan serves as the European Commission’s (Commission’s) primary vehicle through which funding commitments will be made by seeking to mobilise €1 trillion of public sector and private sector investments. The Commission has also established the Just Transition Mechanism (JTM) to assist those regions that will be more profoundly impacted by the economic and social transformation envisaged.