California Assembly Bill 2446 - Carbon Intensity of Construction and Building Materials Act

Does anyone have any information about CA AB 2446? It looks like it passed the assembly and is moving on to the senate.

From what I can tell, this would be a step towards including life cycle assessment requirements in the the Energy Code, applicable to residential buildings with 5+ units and nonresidential buildings greater than 10,000 sf. If that’s the case, that’s a big deal!

Would appreciate more info or advocacy opportunities if they’re out there.

Press release: Assemblymember Chris Holden Introduces the Carbon Intensity of Construction and Building Materials Act | Official Website - Assemblymember Chris Holden Representing the 41st California Assembly District

Bill text: Bill Text - AB-2446 Embodied carbon emissions: construction materials.

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hey @drewnitschke - Been a lot of movement on this in the last week!

The next hearing in the Senate is now June 15th. The deadline for submitting a support letter for that hearing is one week prior (so yesterday now), but people can still provide a “Me too” at that meeting (though I’m not sure what that really means) and submit a letter supporting after (but I guess it just wouldn’t be on record for that specific hearing).

The latest news I’ve heard is that there is no longer opposition to the bill (previously CBIA). Efforts with AIA CA, USGBC, SEAOSC, and friends to pull together support letters.

More info attached:
220607 AB2446 Amends.docx (24.6 KB)
220607-Fcat sheet-AB 2446 Embodied Carbon.pdf (136.5 KB)
220601 AB 2446 (Holden) - Sample Support Letter_Final.docx (18.1 KB)

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Thanks for posting. I heard there was movement on this, but had not seen the bill. A quick google search shows there has been zero news coverage on it…

Wondering if anyone can offer some insight on a couple questions.

  1. “80 percent net reduction in the carbon intensity of construction and materials used in new construction by 2045, as compared to 2020 levels.” Any idea how 2020 levels of embodied carbon would be established? Benchmarks specific to occupancy and/or construction types?
  2. “Framework may include… a system of credits that can be traded among private entities.” What? Is the thought here to give projects that cannot comply an option to buy offsets?

I think it’s worth reading the most recent bill analysis from the Senate Energy, Utilities, and Communications committee: Bill Analysis - AB-2446 Embodied carbon emissions: construction materials.

To summarize:

  • The methodology for establishing a 2020 baseline is unclear
  • The mechanisms for trading “embodied carbon credits” are unclear and may conflict with CARB’s current cap-and-trade system
  • The analysis suggests transferring these duties to CARB instead of CEC and remove the references to creating an embodied carbon market

I’m curious if anyone has any thoughts of how appropriate it is for CEC to be in charge of this if it passes.

Good points, @dgkirk. Would be great if we could get more news coverage on the topic.

I had not caught the carbon credits language. I’m no expert in cap-and-trade or the groups behind that enforcement. Would also be interested to hear others thoughts. I will share that I recently found CARB’s Pollution Mapping Tool.

There was a hearing today on AB 2446. It was not voted on because there wasn’t a quorum. SEAOSC president, Patti Harburg-Petrich, did speak in support and a number of other organizations. No speakers in opposition.

Hi All - sorry that I didn’t see this thread earlier. I am actually the primary author of AB 2446 (working with Holden’s team and consultants) and would be happy to set up time next week to chat with you about it if you would like.

The language on file reflects the original text, we have significant amendments that will be introduced for the Senate Appropriations Committee. The changes reflect amendments from CBIA, Senate EUC & Senate EQC. It has already passed all policy committee hearings (last committee vote was EUC on Wed. and that was 6-0 in favor, including an Aye vote from Bates (R) and an abstention by Dahle (R) - so we are starting to get bipartisan support with CBIA now neutral and doing some work to get it passed.

Key changes:

  1. Moves it to CARB from CEC
  2. Strips out the credit language (but a separate bill will be taken up by Holden to create a Low Carbon Product Standard)
  3. Used the first 2 years of EPD/LCA reporting (2024 & 2025) to create the baseline
  4. Target is modified to 40% reduction by 2035 with a reviews by CARB starting in 2029 to move the targets up/down as needed and if shifted down requires documentation as to why
  5. Introduces cost impact language (to get CBIA on board)
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Thanks for the overview! Looks like the bill has been referred to the suspense file. Any feeling on when and if it might make it out?

I believe the expectation is that it will come off suspense today and then head to a full Senate vote, hopefully quickly

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Some additional changes that are reflected in the final language that was singed by Governor Newsome (as a result of input from Senate committees and CARB/CEC)

  1. Moved back to CARB as the lead agency
  2. Pushed the date of the framework being finalized by to July 1, 2025
  3. Baseline years will now be 2025/2026 with the reduction targets going into effect January 1, 2027 at the latest
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Sam, this is exciting! Is there a good way to stay connected to this effort or receive updates as the framework is being finalized?