At the annual winter meeting of the National Governors Association, the governors of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington signed an agreement that directs their respective states to, within the next six months, develop a regional target for reducing greenhouse gases.
During the next 18 months, they will devise a market-based program, such as a load-based cap and trade program to reach the target.
This MOU sets the stage for a regional cap and trade program, which will provide a powerful framework for developing a national cap and trade program. This agreement shows the power of states to lead our nation addressing climate change.—California Governor Schwarzenegger
The five states also have agreed to participate in a multi-state registry to track and manage greenhouse gas emissions in their region.
The Western Regional Climate Action Initiative builds on existing greenhouse gas reduction efforts in the individual states as well as two existing regional efforts. In 2003, California, Oregon and Washington created the West Coast Global Warming Initiative, and in 2006, Arizona and New Mexico launched the Southwest Climate Change Initiative.
During an address to the National Governors Association, the Governor also called on other states to adopt a low carbon fuel standard based upon the model being developed in California.