(February 26, 2007) – The governors of five Western states today launched a joint effort to reduce their emissions of global warming pollution. The five states – Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington and California – will team up to create a regional system to promote clean energy and energy efficiency to slow emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping pollutants that are causing higher temperatures, melting snow packs, increased droughts and a higher threat of wildfires throughout the region.
already has a law establishing a comprehensive system of regulatory and market mechanisms to achieve its targets, and this agreement signals an intent to create such a comprehensive system region-wide. The new agreement closely mirrors a similar pact – the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) – between 10 Northeast states that are also on track to reduce global warming pollution.
Below is a statement by Sheryl Carter, director of NRDC’s Western energy programs.
“These forward-looking states show that California’s historic global warming achievements of 2006 were just the beginning,” said Carter. “These five governors realize that we must act now, rather than waiting for the federal government, to cut pollution and avoid the catastrophic effects of global warming in the American West. Our region is especially vulnerable to melting snow packs, more extreme droughts and the increased risk of wildfires.
“California will be busy over the next few years implementing a full portfolio of regulatory and market mechanisms to ensure it meets its own new commitment to cut its global warming emissions by 25 percent by 2020. Joining together with other states will leverage leadership to help each other, improve air quality, cut pollution, and move more quickly to a clean energy future.
“California already is well positioned to curb global warming while bringing economic benefits. Once again, our state’s enthusiasm is proving contagious. This year promises exciting new developments nationwide to curb global warming.”