Tuesday, February 27, 2007

5 Western States Join to Fight Global Warming

The governors of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington have banded together in a new effort to fight global warming. Citing a lack of federal leadership as a major factor, the five states promise to create a regional target for reducing greenhouse gases within six months, a mechanism for meeting that target within 18 months, and create a five-state registry for tracking and managing greenhouse gas emissions.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, said a so-called cap-and-trade program, which lets companies that can't meet their emission reduction targets buy credits from those that reduce carbon dioxide, would provide "a powerful framework for developing a national cap-and-trade program. ... This agreement shows the power of states to lead our nation addressing climate change."

Called the Western Regional Climate Action Initiative, the agreement builds on earlier efforts by several states. It may also come to include additional agreements with other governments, particularly the province of British Columbia. During the February 13th speech, the BC government pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions 33% by 2020 and forge partnerships with western states to tackle climate change. Governor Schwarzenegger is scheduled to meet BC Premier Gordon Campbell on the issue later this spring.

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