Midwest States and Manitoba Sign Agreements to Reduce Greenhouse Gases, Promote Energy Efficiency and Renewables
November 15, 2007
Nine governors of Midwestern states and the premier of the Canadian province of Manitoba have signed the Midwestern Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord. The agreement encompasses a regional strategy to achieve energy security and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, 11 Midwestern states have adopted an Energy Security and Climate Stewardship Platform that establishes other goals for the region to promote timelines for energy efficiency, biobased products, renewable sources for electricity, and carbon capture and storage.
The accord includes plans to:
- Establish greenhouse gas reduction targets and timeframes consistent with the Midwestern Governors Association (MGA) member states' targets.
- Develop a market-based and multisector cap-and-trade mechanism to help achieve those reduction targets.
- Establish a system to enable tracking, management, and crediting for entities that reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- Develop and implement additional steps to achieve the reduction targets, such as a low-carbon fuel standards and regional incentives and funding mechanisms.
The agreement was signed at the MGA Energy Security and Climate Change Summit in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Those who signed included Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, Iowa Governor Chester Culver, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, South Dakota Governor Michael Rounds, and Manitoba Premier Gary Doer.
"Today's agreement is an important milestone toward achieving a cleaner, more secure energy future," Pawlenty said. "The Midwest is well positioned to help lead the energy revolution that our nation needs to stay competitive and strong. Working together, states can build a de facto national energy policy that will create good jobs and build a cleaner and safer world."
Within the next year, governors and other participating leaders will establish the targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions and complete development of proposed cap-and-trade system. Targets will be consistent with the 60 to 80 percent recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The accord is expected to be fully implemented by mid-2010.
As part of the summit, the Midwestern states, including Nebraska and North Dakota, adopted the Energy Security and Climate Stewardship Platform for the Midwest. The platform establishes shared goals for the Midwest region, including specific timelines for advancing energy efficiency, promoting biobased products, producing renewable electricity, and developing carbon capture and storage.
To support these goals, the group launched regional initiatives to address:
- Creation of a regional transportation and storage infrastructure for CO2 management
- A bioproduct procurement program to support the growth of the region's bioeconomy
- Adequacy of the electricity transmission system to support thousands of new megawatts of wind energy
- Renewable fuels corridors and coordinated signage to promote renewable fuel usage across the Midwest
- Advanced bioenergy permitting to assist states with the latest technologies
- A low-carbon energy transmission infrastructure that will provide a cost-effective way to supply the Midwest with sustainable and environmentally responsible energy.
The Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord builds on greenhouse gas reduction efforts in each state and three regional efforts. In 2003, California, Oregon, and Washington created the West Coast Global Warming Initiative; in 2006, Arizona and New Mexico launched the Southwest Climate Change Initiative; and in February of 2007, Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington launched the Western Regional Climate Action Initiative.
Source: November 15 news release on ECM Publishers HometownSource.com