Arizona and New Mexico Launch Southwest Climate Initiative

March 01, 2006

Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson signed an agreement at the National Governors Association Winter Meeting in Washington D.C. beginning the Southwest Climate Change Initiative. The agreement creates a framework for the two states to collaborate on strategies to address the effects of climate change and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in the Southwest.

Under this agreement, the two states will:

  • Develop consistent methods for measuring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Identify options for reducing emissions.
  • Promote development of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.
  • Exchange information about ways to deal with the impacts of climate change across the Southwest.

Napolitano and Richardson said that actions to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases might bring additional benefits to the economy of job creation, cost savings, and improved air quality. Both governors signed executive orders in 2005 creating state advisory groups on climate change. Each of these groups will present recommendations to their respective governors in 2006.

New Mexico Governor Richardson said, "In the Southwest, water is absolutely essential to our quality of life and our economy. Addressing climate change now, before it is too late, is the responsible thing to do to protect our water supplies for future generations." For more information see Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano's February 28 press release (PDF 31 KB).