From: the San Francisco Chronicle
Published July 24, 2008 08:24 AM

California joins big carbon-trade partnership

(07-24) 04:00 PDT Sacramento - --


California, six other Western states and four Canadian provinces launched plans on Wednesday for one of the world's largest carbon-trading systems, a sweeping effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.

The North American program, like a similar market-based system in Europe, focuses on heavy polluters such as electric utilities, oil refineries and large industrial and commercial facilities.

Environmental groups immediately questioned whether the plan will be tough enough on polluters, while industry groups said the program lacks details.

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California officials said the proposal will be an integral part of the Golden State's ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2020, as required by the landmark legislation AB32 that the Legislature approved and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed in 2006.

"We very much believe this supports California's own plan to grow the economy and protect the environment," said Linda Adams, secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency.

The draft plan is a key component of the Western Climate Initiative, a partnership created in February 2007 among the governors of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington to curb global warming.

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