Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Monday signed an agreement to exchange information on market-based methods for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and boost basic research into clean energy technologies.
The agreement, announced at a climate change conference in Long Beach, was a direct swipe at the Bush Administration, which has to date shunned global agreements on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It also comes at a time when legislation pending in Sacramento would have California go it alone on reducing carbon gas emissions.
"California will not wait for our federal government to take strong action on global warming," Schwarzenegger said Monday. "International partnerships are needed in the fight against global warming and California has a responsibility and a profound role to play to protect not only our environment but to be a world leader on this issue as well."
Schwarzenegger noted that California is the 12th largest carbon emitter in the world, despite measures to increase energy efficiency. He has said he supports in concept AB 32 the bill authored by state Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles, and Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills that would cap carbon emissions from oil refineries, power plants and other industrial operations. That bill will be taken up next month in the closing weeks of the legislative session; if it passes, California would be the first state to enact carbon emission reductions.
In reaching the agreement with Britain, Schwarzenegger is trying to capitalize on California's advantage in moving forward on greenhouse gas emission reductions.
Specifically, the agreement commits both California and Britain to:
>Evaluate and implement market-based mechanisms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as emissions trading;
>Share information on the economic impacts of global warming, as well as mitigation efforts and implementation strategies;
>Collaborate on research into clean energy technologies, green building design and increasing energy efficiency; and
>Collaborate on reducing emissions from the transportation sector, building on California's own groundbreaking vehicle emissions standards.
The Long Beach climate change roundtable, hosted by the London-based nonprofit Climate Group, featured more than a dozen chief executives from multinational corporations, including Lord John Browne of BP plc., which has significant operations in the Los Angeles area.
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