California Approves Plan to Implement Climate Change Law, Sets Precedent for National, International Action

December 11, 2008 at 3:24 pm | Posted in California, Climate change, Climate Change Act | Leave a comment
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News of a huge victory, fresh from Environmental Defense Fund:

“Moments ago, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) officially and unanimously approved the AB32 Scoping Plan, a blueprint which charts the course for reaching 1990 global warming emissions levels by 2020.”

Phew! We could do with some good news after EU leaders in Brussels signalled carbon emissions concessions to the Polish government for its utter dependence on brown coal (lignite). Would the same leeway be allowed if the climate talks weren’t being held in Poznan, Poland, I wonder?

Back to the good news emanating from California, here’s the press release EDF just issued:

California Approves Plan to Implement Climate Change Law, Sets Precedent for National, International Action

Historic Vote Occurs as World Leaders Negotiate International Climate Deal 

(Sacramento, CA – December 11, 2008) California regulators today unanimously approved a plan to implement a law requiring the state to dramatically cut its global warming pollution, setting a precedent for national and international action, according to a law cosponsor. The law cosponsor, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), praised the California Air Resources Board for its historic vote to approve its Scoping Plan to implement The Global Warming Solutions Act.

The Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) is the first statewide effort to cap greenhouse gas emissions. It sets a firm cap requiring the state to cut its emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020 (about 30 percent below business as usual).

“As world leaders meet in Poland to negotiate an international climate deal, California regulators today set an international and national standard for how to meet aggressive targets to cut global warming pollution that will create a high-wage, clean high-tech economy,” said Derek Walker, director of EDF’s California Climate Initiative, who just returned from attending the United Nations’ climate negotiations in Poznan, Poland that ends tomorrow.

Seven Western states (Arizona, California, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington and Utah) and four Canadian provinces (British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec and Ontario) have followed California’s lead by pledging to cut greenhouse gas emissions as part of a Western Climate Initiative.

“California already leads the nation in clean tech investment,” said Dr. James Fine, EDF economist and policy scientist. “The Air Resources Board’s approval of its plan to implement The Global Warming Solutions Act will reinforce this trend. Our state is well-positioned to make enacting this law an opportunity, both economically and environmentally, rather than a burden, as some naysayers suggest. By approving the action plan, ARB is acknowledging definitively that the most expensive option for California is inaction in fighting global warming.”

EDF released a report on Monday showing that implementing AB 32 is likely to increase employment in several sectors of the state’s economy, as well as associated supply chains, including biomass-based fuels, building and transportation infrastructure construction, clean technologies, environmental engineering, consumer products, information technologies, transportation and logistics, waste management, and water purification and conservation.

“California’s businesses and consumers can reap substantial economic benefits from implementing The Global Warming Solutions Act and lead the world in pioneering a green, low carbon economy that sustains our future,” said David Festa, vice president of EDF’s West Coast Region and a former director of Policy and Strategic Planning at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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