The state of California hired a team of researchers from Ecofys and Northwestern University, and the University of California, Berkeley to develop science-based methods to assess the amount of free allowances California facilities can receive on the products they manufacture.
The collaboration will help the Air Resources Board implement the cap-and-trade regulations in California. The final report was submitted to the Air Resources Board of the California Environmental Protection Agency on June 30. The insights from the report will be useful not only to California but to other states, the federal government and a wide range of industries.
The methods to calculate the carbon intensity of individual products, like tomato paste and milk, beer, and wine will help California determine the number of allowances allocated to the manufacturing facilities.
This is the first international team in the world that is working to develop product-level emissions benchmarks for the food processing industry. The ultimate goal is to create a transparent and fair way of benchmarking that provides incentives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also encourages industrial competitiveness.
The final report details the recommended procedure for collecting data from manufacturing plants. Policymakers will decide if they want to use the independent team’s recommendations to calculate how cap-and-trade allowances should be assigned.