Climate 411

States and Cities Lead the Way

The author of today’s post, Derek Walker, is the Deputy Director of the State Climate Campaign at Environmental Defense.

We need federal legislation to solve the global warming crisis – there’s no doubt about that. But state and local governments don’t have to sit around waiting while the federal debate goes on – and many aren’t. States and cities across the country are taking the lead on a wide range of climate issues, demonstrating the political courage and policy innovation needed to protect our planet from the most dangerous effects of global warming.

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New Jersey Leads the Way!

The author of today’s article, Derek Walker, is deputy director of the state climate initiative at Environmental Defense.

Last week, New Jersey’s House and Senate Budget Committees passed a landmark global warming bill called the "Global Warming Response Act". It sailed through the full House and Senate two days later and Governor Jon Corzine says he will sign it in July.

The bill will cap greenhouse gas emissions at 1990 levels by 2020, and lower the cap to 80 percent below current levels by 2050 (see New York Times article). It is the first bill in the nation to legislate a 2050 target. This is important because 2050 targets are crucial to avoiding the global warming tipping point, and are a component of the bills currently before Congress. When forward-looking states pass legislation like this, it can force the federal government to do likewise.

I went to Trenton to testify before the Budget Committee, and left there inspired.

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