California has the world’s eighth largest economy and a well-earned reputation as a global trendsetter on environmental policy.
It should come as no surprise that Californians are out of the gate on the most urgent environmental challenge of our generation: building a clean energy future that protects the world from catastrophic global warming.
Given that the countdown to Copenhagen is underway and the White House and Congress are weighing proposals and priorities, California’s leadership-by-example means more than ever.
Today, the California Air Resources Board unveiled a conceptual outline – a Preliminary Draft Regulation (PDR) [PDF file, 800K]- of what will become a mandatory, multi-sector cap-and-trade program to take effect on January 1, 2012. The program will set an absolute limit on sources of 85 percent of the state’s pollution, dialing back pollution levels by 15 percent between now and 2020. California leaders project that a final cap-and-trade program will be adopted by the state’s environmental agency in October 2010, two months ahead of the statutory deadline.
Today’s action is another step on the path to a clean energy future that will create economic opportunities and environmental benefits for all Californians.
The stage was set for today in 2006, when Governor Schwarzenegger signed the landmark Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32), a mandatory cap on greenhouse gas emissions in the state. The bill’s passage inspired several other states to adopt similar measures and led seven U.S. states and four Canadian provinces to commit to a regional cap-and-trade program called the Western Climate Initiative.