California signs Global Warming Law
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday signed into law the nation’s strictest greenhouse-gas emission cuts, aiming to reduce the global-warming pollution by a quarter by 2020.
AB 32’s signing marks the start of “a bold new era of environmental protection here in California that will change the course of history,” the governor told politicians, business leaders and environmental advocates at the signing ceremony under leaden skies on Treasure Island’s breezy shoreline. “This is something we owe our children and that we owe our grandchildren.”
British Prime Minister Tony Blair, linked live via satellite, said Schwarzenegger and lawmakers have shown “brilliant leadership that will excite and inspire a lot of people worldwide..this will echo right around the rest of the world.”
“You guys have set yourself a really bold target but I think that’s right, that’s important,” Blair said, adding that Great Britain set and met its emissions-reduction standards while growing its economy. He said he hopes California’s action will prod the United States, China, India and other nations to join the international community for a more binding global pact after the Kyoto Protocols expire in 2012.
AB 32 requires the California Air Resources Board to develop and implement regulations and market mechanisms to cut the state’s greenhouse gas emissions to 1990’s levels by 2020 — a 25 percent cut — and then 80 percent more by 2050. Mandatory caps will begin in 2012 for significant sources and then ratchet down to meet the 2020 goal.