Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) praised the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for adopting an innovative program that will cap and reduce global warming pollution, while growing the state’s clean energy economy.
“California is turbo charging its already fast-growing clean energy economy by creating incentives and a market for pollution reducing technologies,” said Fred Krupp, president of EDF. “The state is leading a new industrial revolution that will give U.S. companies an edge over foreign competitors in a global market opportunity valued at $2.3 trillion.”
The regulation CARB approved is a vital component of its clean energy plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, as required by The Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32). The trading program will create a firm limit on pollution that covers 80 percent of the state’s emissions, including those from the utility, large industry, natural gas and transportation fuels sectors.
A recent Field Poll found that 64 percent of Californians favor cap-and-trade and that nearly 75 percent believe the state can reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, while creating jobs and economic prosperity. This finding follows the overwhelming general election defeat of Proposition 23 that affirmed Californians’ desire to implement AB 32 without delay. The “No on Prop 23” campaign generated more votes than any other initiative in the country and showed continued support for taking action to fight climate change, even in tough economic times.
The regulations are designed to minimize risks of economic harm and job loss. By putting a price on carbon, investors and businesses get the certainty they need to invest in new technologies. A recent study from Next 10 concluded that job growth from cap-and-trade will range from around 65,000 to almost 625,000 jobs by 2020, depending on the program’s design.
“The next great economy will be in energy technology, presenting huge opportunities for investments, manufacturing and jobs,” said Derek Walker, director of the California Climate Initiative at Environmental Defense Fund. “California is leading America’s charge to fight climate change by capping pollution and starting a domestic clean tech revolution that’ll help us more effectively compete against China, India and Europe.”
Cap-and-trade is a proven, effective mechanism for cutting pollution quickly at the lowest cost, a particularly important consideration given the economic downturn. In the 1990s, a cap-and-trade program that was added to the Clean Air Act achieved full compliance in reducing sulfur dioxide emissions—which cause acid rain—at a third of the cost forecast by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
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