...more than 80 regional and local governments have come together for two days to try to figure out ways to reduce emissions and put the brakes on climate change. The idea is that since last year’s UN climate summit in Copenhagen failed to produce a binding international agreement, and the US Congress can’t get it together to agree on any sort of energy and/or climate bill, cities and states and provinces can’t stand by and do nothing while the international community haggles and CO2 levels continue to creep higher.
The whole thing kind of reminds me of Goonies. You know, the movie from the 1980s...when a whole neighborhood was going to be demolished because the residents couldn’t afford to save their homes? The parents didn’t know what to do and they just gave up, resigned to their fates. But then all the neighborhood kids, realizing that their parents weren’t going to protect them after all, got together in a rag-tag bunch and saved the day, and the neighborhood...
That’s kind of what’s happening here at the Governor’s Global Climate Summit. The parents (i.e. national governments) aren’t acting, so the kids (i.e. "subnational" governments) are getting together to fight climate change where they can. It might not be the most streamlined way to address the problem, but according to host governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, there's really no choice.
A large component of the "kids'" plan is AB 32, California's Global Warming Solutions Act. this which set a goal of reducing 2020 greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels. The recent defeat of Proposition 23, which would have suspended AB 32 until the state's unemployment rate vastly improved, has cleared a major stumbling block in implementing the law. On October 29, the Air Resources Board issued rules intended to meet the emission reduction goals. These included the kind of cap-and-trade program that has been left for dead in the U.S. Congress.
In order to understand AB 32 and the proposed new rules better, I interviewed Craig Miller, Senior Editor of KQED's Climate Watch initiative:
Just before the election, the California Air Resources Board released its plan to implement AB 32. Can you summarize the plan, including the cap and trade component?