Washington, DC (February 26, 2007)- The Governors of Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington have announced the formation of the Western Regional Climate Action Initiative to implement a joint strategy to reduce greenhouse gases. This agreement builds on the West Coast Global Warming Initiative between California, Oregon, and Washington and the Southwest Climate Change Initiative between Arizona and New Mexico.
Although this development symbolizes another large step forward for U.S. states, the agreement stops short of declaring specific emissions reduction levels. However, these target levels are expected to be set in the next six months and the group will work out the details of establishing a cap-and-trade system over the next year and a half.
This proposed system will allow companies in all five states to trade emissions amongst themselves. Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano said, “In the absence of meaningful federal action, it is up to the states to take action to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the country.”
This new climate initiative is a compliment to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) encompassing nine Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states, though no mention has been made as to whether the two programs would be linked together.
Regional Climate Action Initiative Press Release
Western Climate Agreement Resolution
United Press International (UPI) Energy Watch
Washington State Office of the Governor
Arizona State Office of the Governor
California Office of the Governor
New Mexico Office of the Governor
Oregon Office of the Governor