Governor Schwarzenegger’s plan for California to go it alone on climate change is welcome. But it’s unimpressive by any standards except those of Republican ostriches, let alone those of climate realists like me who reckon Kyoto doesn’t go nearly far enough (link added).
The target of capping greenhouse emissions at 1990 levels by 2020 is lower than Kyoto’s, which mandates a 5% reduction below 1990. But the main difference is in the timetable.
The broad requirements of agreement stipulate that, by January 2008, the [California Air Resources Board] start requiring the state’s major greenhouse-gas producers to report their greenhouse-gas output. By January 2009, the air board is to develop a plan outlining how to achieve the emissions cuts. By January 2011, the air board is to adopt actual rules to take effect a year later.
The Kyoto targets are for 2008-2012 (though they aren’t being met.) The EU has been actually running emissions trading since January 2005; there’s already a thriving market in London. This is how it works in Britain. Arnie’s plan is seven to twelve years behind.
Kevin Drum sees it differently: “And if other states follow, maybe other countries will too.” Come off it.
It will be interesting to see if California allows international emissions trading in the London market, which businesses will press for to save money and Washington hate as a usurpation of federal competence. The state would need a bilateral deal with a Kyoto party to gain access.