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California Global Warming Solutions Act

How is California taking the lead on confronting global warming?

June 4, 2007

How is California taking the lead on confronting global warming?

As the debate on global warming and climate change heats up further, some states are deciding to take matters into their own hands. California — the longtime leader in the United States on environmental issues — is spearheading states’ efforts to enact emission controls while the federal government refuses to act. In this Globalist Document, we examine the key findings of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.

At the forefront of climate change action, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 — passed in the State Assembly on August 31, 2006 by a 46 to 31 vote — is the first piece of legislation in the United States to cap greenhouse emissions.

The groundbreaking legislation is expected to have a substantial impact on other states in the United States. As the debate over climate change continues at full force in the United States, The Globalist presents the key findings of this landmark legislation:

Global warming poses a serious threat to the economic well-being, public health, natural resources and the environment of California.

The potential adverse impacts of global warming include the exacerbation of air quality problems and a reduction in the quality and supply of water to the state from the Sierra snowpack.

A rise in sea levels could also occur, resulting in the displacement of thousands of coastal businesses and residences, damage to marine ecosystems and the natural environment — and an increase in the incidences of infectious diseases, asthma and other human health-related problems.

Global warming will have detrimental effects on some of California’s largest industries, including agriculture, wine, tourism, skiing, recreational and commercial fishing and forestry.

It will also increase the strain on electricity supplies necessary to meet the demand for summer air-conditioning in the hottest parts of the state.

California has long been a national and international leader on energy conservation and environmental stewardship efforts.

The areas include air quality protections, energy efficiency requirements, renewable energy standards, natural resource conservation and greenhouse gas emission standards for passenger vehicles.

The program established by this division will continue this tradition of environmental leadership by placing California at the forefront of national and international efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

National and international actions are necessary to fully address the issue of global warming.

However, action taken by California to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases will have far-reaching effects by encouraging other states, the federal government and other countries to act.

By exercising a global leadership role, California will also position its economy, technology centers, financial institutions and businesses to benefit from national and international efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

More importantly, investing in the development of innovative and pioneering technologies will assist California in achieving the 2020 statewide limit on emissions of greenhouse gases established by this division — and will provide an opportunity for the state to take a global economic and technological leadership role in reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.

Editor’s Note: The text above is excerpted from California State Assembly Bill No. 32: Global Warming Solutions Act. For the full version, please click here(pdf).