Thursday, May 31, 2007

Schwarzenegger & Campbell Sign Climate Change Agreement

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger arrived in BC today amidst a ceremonial welcome by the provinces First Nations community. Arnold was given three ceremonial gifts before getting down to business with BC Premier Gordon Campbell and signing a five point agreement on fighting global warming.

The two leaders have committed to working together on the issue regardless of the participation of the US and Canadian federal governments.

The memorandum of understanding signed by the pair commit B.C. and California to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, collaborate on clean energies and technologies and build a series of hydrogen- refill stations along the highway linking Vancouver to Baja, California.

California and B.C. will also share data about the health of the Pacific Ocean

The memorandum is also seen as sign that Campbell is prepared to join California's current efforts in setting stiff reduction targets, penalties for companies who don't meet those targets, as well as a carbon trading market enabling "green" companies to sell carbon credits to polluters. However, the weak point in BC's position is still the fact that they have not put their own commitment's in law, and to date the government has only released scant details about how they intend to attain the steep reductions they have promised.

Last year, California legislated a mandatory 25% reduction of greenhouse gases by the year 2020, while in February, Campbell committed BC to a 33% reduction by the same deadline.

But all in, today's announcement is a good beginning.


lady macleod said...

let us wish them success and hope this direction of thought takes hold

gary_mh said...

BC may not have that far to go in terms of heavy industry where the
annual burden of emissions (CO2 equivalent in million tonnes) is 77 for Ontario, 110 for Alberta and 13 for BC. Still, don't hold your breath waiting for signs of real regulatory action on pulp millw, Alcan, or Cominco. So far having chats with a US luminary is just cotton candy. Real eco committment has never been part of BC governments and is not now. ├ůs a test, watch what is done or not done on farm salmon.

Paul Hillsdon said...

I still think the hydrogen highway is rather stupid. AFAIK, the whole hydrogen technology i very inefficient and unlikely to be marketplace-ready for decades. They really should be investing that money into electrically powered vehicles and better R&D into battery technologies. Who knows, maybe we could kill two birds with one stone, getting longer cell phone life, and electric vehicles that would be able to last highway travel?!

In any case, as the data has shown, the majority of BC's greenhouse gases comes fromt transportation. One coal plant isn't going to dramatically changes things, not that I support it being opened. The government really needs to get a cap on car usage in this province, and spending several billions on highway expansion rather than investing that in transit seems rather foolhardy to me.

james higham said...

This is good compared to Bush's latest 'we won't join Kyoto or subscribe to the G8 plan becasue it comes from the EU but we have a plan so come and join our agenda".

E. R. Dunhill said...

The current administrations in Ottawa and Washington are too enamored of industry to make much real progress on the climate front. In the case of the Whitehouse, we’ve had six long years of open war against the environment. I increasingly believe that the public sector solution is in local government and perhaps to a lesser extent, state and provincial government. I'm glad to see these players making a statement.

bearintheforest said...

I agree with paul,hydrogen is a energy consumer that is a waste of time persuing.Tesla motor corp has a good start with electric cars and hopefully it will get the support that will enter the market full steam ahead.( until gas doubles in price will transit become a viable option in the publics eyes, then with increases in ridership will services improve and bike routes will increase in use.