Saturday, October 18, 2008

California Maps a Plan to Slow Down Global Warming

The state's plan could be a model for other states, or even the federal government 

SAN FRANCISCO— October 16, 2008 - The presidential candidates certainly paid lip service to tackling the problem of climate change during their debate last night. But what would it actually take to slow down—or even reverse—global warming?

California lawmakers tried to answer that question two years ago when they passed the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, a first-of-its-kind law that spelled out the state's commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In the absence of any federal regulation, the law ordered the state to lower its carbon emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020, a 25 percent reduction. "We simply must do everything in our power to slow down global warming before it's too late," Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said at the time, thumbing his nose, many thought, at a White House that was dragging its feet on climate change.

This week, the California Air Resources Board, the state agency tasked with implementing the law, released the first details of exactly what the state must do to achieve its global warming goals. In a 142-page report many experts believe could serve as a policy template for other states—and even the federal government—the board provides specific estimates of exactly how and where the state could have an impact on climate change. More >>>