California Environment Initiatives Garner International Interest


Several dozen local officials and environmental groups from forest-rich nations (including Brazil and Mexico) gathered this week at Schwarzenegger’s Global Climate Summit, which was sponsored for the first time by the U.N. These leaders sought, in part, to determine ways to provide carbon credits to (California) companies willing to pay for industrial emissions offsets. By doing so, the leaders would cash in on California’s expertise, technology, and carbon trading market (to be launched in 2012).

The Los Angeles Times reports that, according to California Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Linda Adams, California – the most energy-efficient state in the nation – wants to sell its technology to the nations attending the Summit. While California has yet to officially confirm a cap-and-trade system, such a system could provide millions of dollars for several natural-resource-rich communities, including those in Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, and Tanzania.

On Wednesday, Schwarzenegger officials signed an agreement with representatives of Mexican states, by which they will explore the possibility of adapting California’s carbon rules for the preservation of Sierra Madre forests. Subsequently, California officials are expected to finalize a partnership with Jiangsu, a Chinese province, for the sharing of energy technology.

Meanwhile, UN Assistant Secretary General warned: whatever CO2 targets the national governments ultimately adopt, localities will be obligated to protect their own forests from fire, their own water supplies from contamination, and their own coastlines from erosion.

Sarah Harper is a professional writer based in San Francisco, California. Her interests include sustainability, government policy, and international politics. In her free time, Sarah enjoys toying with the idea of holistic health, overanalysis, and plotting world exploration.