Governors in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington announced Monday the formation of the Western Regional Climate Action Initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The agreement was signed at the annual winter meeting of the National Governors Association and calls for a regional target for reducing greenhouse gases to be set within six months. Over the next 18 months, the five states will develop a market-based program to reach the target.
California, Oregon and Washington had created the West Coast Global Warming Initiative in 2003. Arizona and New Mexico joined to form the Southwest Climate Change Initiative in 2006. The new venture will build on the existing reduction efforts of those initiatives.
“In the absence of meaningful federal action, it is up to the states to take action to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in this country,” said Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano. “Western states are being particularly hard-hit by the effects of climate change.”
“We have all seen the science and we must increase our efforts to respond,” added Washington Governor Chris Gregoire. “We must implement what we all have put in place and work together to develop a regional market approach. Together, we can reduce our climate pollution, grow jobs and move toward energy independence.”