The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

California Approves Plan to Implement Climate Change Law, Sets Precedent for National, International Action

Historic Vote Occurs as World Leaders Negotiate International Climate Deal


California regulators today
unanimously approved a plan to implement a law requiring the state to
dramatically cut its global warming pollution, setting a precedent for
national and international action, according to a law cosponsor. The
law cosponsor, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), praised the California
Air Resources Board for its historic vote to approve its Scoping Plan
to implement The Global Warming Solutions Act.

The Global Warming Solutions Act (AB
32) is the first statewide effort to cap greenhouse gas emissions. It
sets a firm cap requiring the state to cut its emissions to 1990 levels
by the year 2020 (about 30 percent below business as usual).

"As world leaders meet in Poland to
negotiate an international climate deal, California regulators today
set an international and national standard for how to meet aggressive
targets to cut global warming pollution that will create a high-wage,
clean high-tech economy," said Derek Walker, director of EDF's
California Climate Initiative, who just returned from attending the
United Nations' climate negotiations in Poznan, Poland that ends

Seven Western states (Arizona,
California, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington and Utah) and four
Canadian provinces (British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec and Ontario)
have followed California's lead by pledging to cut greenhouse gas
emissions as part of a Western Climate Initiative.

"California already leads the nation
in clean tech investment," said Dr. James Fine, EDF economist and
policy scientist. "The Air Resources Board's approval of its plan to
implement The Global Warming Solutions Act will reinforce this trend.
Our state is well-positioned to make enacting this law an opportunity,
both economically and environmentally, rather than a burden, as some
naysayers suggest. By approving the action plan, ARB is acknowledging
definitively that the most expensive option for California is inaction
in fighting global warming."

released a report on Monday showing that implementing AB 32 is likely
to increase employment in several sectors of the state's economy,
as well as associated supply chains, including biomass-based fuels,
building and transportation infrastructure construction, clean
technologies, environmental engineering, consumer products, information
technologies, transportation and logistics, waste management, and water
purification and conservation.

"California's businesses and
consumers can reap substantial economic benefits from implementing The
Global Warming Solutions Act and lead the world in pioneering a green,
low carbon economy that sustains our future," said David Festa, vice
president of EDF's West Coast Region and a former director of Policy
and Strategic Planning at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Environmental Defense Fund's mission is to preserve the natural systems on which all life depends. Guided by science and economics, we find practical and lasting solutions to the most serious environmental problems. We work to solve the most critical environmental problems facing the planet. This has drawn us to areas that span the biosphere: climate, oceans, ecosystems and health. Since these topics are intertwined, our solutions take a multidisciplinary approach. We work in concert with other organizations -- as well as with business, government and communities -- and avoid duplicating work already being done effectively by others.