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Western Climate Initiative Sets GHG Reduction Target of 15% Below 2005 Levels by 2020

WCI partner GHG emissions and regional goal. Click to enlarge.

The Western Climate Initiative (WCI) —which currently includes the states of Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Manitoba—has set a reduction target of 15% below 2005 levels by 2020.

This number represents an aggregate of the goals set by individual states and provinces before joining the Initiative, but in no way precludes states from meeting stronger standards, nor does it replace the partners’ existing goals. By setting the target, the group has met the first deadline under the agreement established in February 2007, which was to first set an overall regional greenhouse gas reduction goal by 26 August.

The WCI is encouraging participation by additional US states, tribes, Canadian provinces, and Mexican states that are making comparable efforts to combat climate change. WCI partners acknowledge that new entrants and updates to data may result in some incremental changes to the regional goal.

Each partner will update the other WCI partners on their climate action plan and GHG emissions inventories every two years to ensure that actions are underway at levels consistent with full achievement of the 2020 goal.

The WCI aggregate greenhouse gas emission reduction goal of 15% below 2005 levels by 2020 is based on:

  • The aggregation of GHG emissions and emissions goals of WCI partners that have thus far established a 2020 goal (Arizona, British Columbia, California, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington) and Manitoba’s short-term goal.

  • Currently available state or provincial emissions inventories. Some of these inventories are currently under revision. While further changes to specific emissions estimates are likely, the aggregate regional emission reduction goal for the current partners is unlikely to deviate substantially from 15% below 2005 levels by 2020.

  • Gross emissions estimates, across all sectors, for the six greenhouse gases reported to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change by the US EPA in the US Greenhouse Gas Inventory and by Environment Canada in the Canada National Inventory Report: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). These estimates are presented in terms of CO2 equivalence (CO2e), which indicates the relative contribution of each gas to global average radiative forcing on a 100-year Global Warming Potential (GWP) weighted basis. Gross emissions estimates do not include changes in biological carbon stocks due to agriculture, forestry, and land use change. In addition, GHG emissions associated with international aviation and international bunker fuels are generally excluded.

  • Consumption-based (or “load-based”) emissions estimates for the electricity sector, except where such estimates are currently unavailable, in which case production-based estimates are used (British Columbia). Consumption-based estimates reflect the emissions associated with generating the electricity delivered to consumers in each state or province whether the electricity was generated in state/province or out of state/province. Considerable work is currently underway to further develop and improve consumption-based estimates.

State and Provincial Goals for GHG Reduction
State or ProvinceShort term
Medium Term
Long Term
Arizona 2000 levels by 2020 50% below 2000 levels by 2040
British Columbia 33% below 2007 by 2020
California 2000 levels by 2010 1990 levels by 2020 80% below 1990 by 2050
Manitoba 6% below 1990
New Mexico 2000 levels by 2012 10% below 2000 by 2020 75% below 2000 by 2050
Oregon arrest emissions growth 10% below 1990 by 2020 >75% below 1990 by 2050
Utah Will set goals by June 2008
Washington 1990 levels by 2020 50% below 1990 by 2050


P Schager

Whether or not they believe that the targets are going to be met and the programs stuck to fully, I hope energy industrialists will get the point that the days of carbon emissions growth are over. And that in turn means that if they want to see growth (and growth profits) in their own future selling energy, that they need to get on the renewables bandwagon. Once they do, this will no longer be the enemy, but a part of mainstream energy industry. Then we will see real progress. Then it will be possible to set more serious targets and back them up.

That's a warning to those who think they can continue to shine it.


Seems like most of the mentioned states & provinces had lower future GHG emissions set individually. But its great to see state & provincial power being consolidated. The U.S. centralized gov't should be downwind of all emissions so they get the point too.

Hopefully, with electrical energy storage densities rising, EVs will drive emissions well down. My Northwest region with its water power & approved renewable energy source Initiative will be ready to power EVs & make an end of major mobile vehicle pollutions. The lead of several companies who are going to fleet EVs in London should be the direction all business (& personal) vehicles need to go. Soon may ICE die that people will live & breathe long.


15% reduction is nowhere near enough.  That's the road to climate disaster.

Why are pols in general stuck on timid?

Stan Peterson

These politicians seem to be great at setting goals, then issuing a press release. Why the press release said they achieved one gaol already. What was that? Why setting a new goal natchurly!

More and more outrageous ones in an never ending one-up-man-ship. If 25% reduction goal is good than 50% goaal is better until some clod suggests 100%. I suggest we set a goal to reduce it below ZERO. But if that is good, how about a goal of 50% below nothing at all?

Meanwhile back in the REAL World...


Why not?  There are a number of proposals to reduce net emissions to less than zero, performing climate remediation.  Growth of e.g. prairie grasses has already been measured to sequester tons/acre/year in the real world, and that's not including possible net sequestration from the part of the plant that's cut.


As usual this is the tail wagging the dog from hyped IPCC claims involving flawed GCM's by programmers and meteorologists instead of real climate scientists. Try to find the Hocky-stick in their 2007 report.


And who, according to you, are the "real" climate scientists?  The paid denialists of Exxon-Mobil?


For anyone who is interested, the American Bar Association has just published "Global Climate Change and U.S. Law," a 784-page multi-author book edited by Michael B. Gerrard. The book sells for $59.95 (minus a discount for ABA members).

Of particular relevance is a chapter devoted to emerging regional, state and local actions, and includes a 50-state survey.

More details and ordering information can be found at this site:


Meanwhile back in the REAL World...

Last time you were in the real world, Kennedy was hosting Marilyn in the White House.

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