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Global Warming Solutions Act: How California's Legislation Has Affected Nation

By    |   Monday, 15 Dec 2014 03:44 PM

While the United States remains without a plan to reduce carbon emissions, some states have passed individual legislation. The 2006 Global Warming Solutions Act passed by California attacks greenhouse gases and serves as a benchmark for the nation.

Assembly Bill 32 was written to protect the economy all while requiring companies to improve the environment. The main thrust of the bill is to reduce the levels of greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

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The bill was signed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Sept. 27, 2006. Five months later, three groups — Silicon Valley Leadership Group, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) — jointly released "A Golden Opportunity: California's Solutions for Global Warming," a report that praised California for its ambitious climate change plan.

"This is the first report that shows how the pieces of the puzzle fit together in California's first-in-the-nation law to limit global warming pollution," report co-author Eric Wanless said in a statement. "The report can help California business leaders understand how they can take advantage of the growing market opportunities for pollution-cutting technologies."

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The goal of AB 32 is to lower greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels, a figure comparable to removing about 15 million cars from America's roads, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. To meet the targets, the California Air Resources Board developed a state-wide cap-and-trade program, increasing and boosting energy efficiency programs, and reaching a renewable energy combination of 33 percent by 2020.

In establishing standards for California, the state also provided a blueprint for the rest of the U.S., as others also capped CO2 emissions in their quest to transition to a sustainable, clean energy economy.

"We simply must do everything we can in our power to slow down global warming before it is too late," Schwarzenegger said when he signed the bill. "It will begin a bold new era of environmental protection in California that will change the course of history."

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While the United States remains without a plan to reduce carbon emissions, some states have passed individual legislation. The 2006 Global Warming Solutions Act passed by California attacks greenhouse gases and serves as a benchmark for the nation.
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Monday, 15 Dec 2014 03:44 PM
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