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.