California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and British Prime Minister Tony Blair signed an agreement today to become partners and to act “aggressively” to address climate change and promote energy diversity.
The agreement, which bypasses the US Federal Government, also calls for working directly with “China, India and other rapidly growing economies” to develop and deploy clean energy technologies in those countries that will reduce worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.
California will not wait for our federal government to take strong action on global warming. Today, we are taking an unprecedented step by signing an agreement between California and the United Kingdom. International partnerships are needed in the fight against global warming and California has a responsibility and a profound role to play to protect not only our environment, but to be a world leader on this issue as well.—Governor Schwarzenegger
Specifically, the agreement commits both California and the United Kingdom to:
Evaluate and implement market-based mechanisms that spur innovation. The United Kingdom will share best practices on emissions trading and lessons learned in Europe. California and the United Kingdom will also explore the potential for linkages between our market-based mechanisms that will better enable the carbon market(s) to accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy.
Deepen the mutual understanding of the economics of climate change. Both California and the United Kingdom have efforts underway to quantify the economic impacts of climate change, mitigation efforts and adaptation strategies. The two will share results from these on-going and emerging studies. In particular, they will focus on understanding how best to model the impact of climate change emissions reduction policies and adaptation measures on regional and national economies.
Collaborate on technology research. The two will coordinate energy sector efforts to switch to clean energy technologies, promote green buildings and increase the use of efficiency and renewable energy technologies. They will share information regarding efforts to reduce emissions from the transportation sector, including California’s emission standards and hydrogen highway and the United Kingdom’s experience with a renewable fuels standard and clean coal technologies.
Enhance linkages between our scientific communities. Enhanced coordination will help advance the understanding of the impacts of climate change at a regional level, potential mitigation strategies and adaptation measures, as well as acceptable levels at which to stabilize emissions. There are a number of efforts to build on, most notably at the United Kingdom’s Hadley Centre and the Virtual Climate Center in California.
California is the 12th largest emitter of carbon in the world despite leading the US in energy efficiency standards and lead role in protecting its environment.