Five Western States Agree to Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The governors of five western states—Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington—joined forces on February 26th to start a new regional effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Western Regional Climate Action Initiative directs the five states to develop a regional target for reducing greenhouse gases within the next six months. Over the next 18 months, the states plan to devise a market-based program to achieve the target, such as a cap and trade program. The five states also have agreed to participate in a multi-state registry to track and manage greenhouse gas emissions in their region, and to continue their efforts to promote the development and use of renewable energy and energy efficiency within the region.
The Western Regional Climate Action Initiative builds on existing greenhouse gas reduction efforts in the individual states as well as two existing regional efforts. In 2003, California, Oregon, and Washington created the West Coast Global Warming Initiative, and in 2006, Arizona and New Mexico launched the Southwest Climate Change Initiative. Each of the five states has also adopted or committed to adopting state greenhouse gas reduction goals, mandatory emissions reporting, and renewable energy requirements. See the combined governors' press release (PDF 214 KB) and the official Western Regional Climate Action Initiative (PDF 59 KB) on Washington Governor Chris Gregoire's Web site. Download Adobe Reader.