Yesterday, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger gave a speech to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. In it, he said that “the world's governments alone cannot make the progress that is needed on global climate change. They need the cities, the states, the provinces, the regions. They need the corporations, the activists, the scientists, the universities."
NRDC has a delegation attending the conference in Copenhagen. You can follow NRDC’s blog posts from the conference here.
I’m writing to talk about some things that NRDC is doing to fight global warming on a more local level, filling in a bit of detail for Gov. Schwarzenegger’s remarks. In California, NRDC was a major force behind the enactment of AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. NRDC also helped enact California’s SB 375, the most progressive state-level smart growth law in the country.
In the Midwest, NRDC’s Chicago office has been fighting against new coal-fired electricity plants that are a threat to limiting and reversing atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases. The proponents of an enormous proposed coal-fired plant on the banks of the Ohio River recently threw in the towel, largely as a result of relentless advocacy by NRDC.
Here in the Southern California area, we have been advocating for smart regional planning that includes realistic evaluation of global warming potential and effective, verifiable mitigation for projected increases in greenhouse gases. Together with our Washington, DC and New York offices, we are working with Congress to make sure that local ports have the legal authority to clean up the environmental damage they cause without interference from polluting industries.
We’ve had some disagreements with Gov. Schwarzenegger, for example over his signing of a bill that gave a free pass from environmental review to a local football stadium project. But on the need to act locally as well as globally to fight global warming, we are on the same page. There is too much at stake not to be.