More great news from California on the global climate change front. Today the state joined with the Brazilian state of Acre and the Mexican state of Chiapas in a historic achievement to curb climate change through reducing deforestation. (As we've mentioned before, the cutting and burning of tropical forests accounts for about 15% of global carbon dioxide emissions — more than all of the cars and trucks in the world produce.)
Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, Binho Marques of Acre, Brazil, and Juan Sabines Guerrero of Chiapas, Mexico announced this afternoon that they had agreed to form a Working Group to promote efforts on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) at the "sub-national," or state, level.
The agreement calls for the Working Group to make recommendations to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) by next October on how California can link its emerging carbon market to the REDD programs in Acre, Chiapas and potentially other states or provinces around the world.
a significant and concrete step to protect the climate by protecting the world’s forests. It also is a precedent-setting initiative as countries gear up for international climate change negotiations in December.
Acre has opted for development based on preserving and wisely using its forests to honor of Chico Mendes’ dream, which echoed around the world two decades ago. We seek to consolidate sustainable development through a low carbon, high social equity economy. This partnership between our states will allow our economies to grow and address global climate change.
This agreement comes just two weeks after California voters soundly rejected the industry-backed ballot Proposition 23, which would have suspended implementation of the state's landmark global warming law.
It clearly demonstrates that we can start to effectively combat climate change and stop deforestation in the absence of a national policy and an international agreement.
California, Acre and Chiapas are members of the Governor’s Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF), a collaboration of 14 states and provinces in the U.S., Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and Nigeria that was created at the first Governor’s Global Climate Summit in 2008.
Read more in EDF's news release: Tropical Forests Protection Pact Hailed for Protecting Climate.