Faced with federal inertia in the fight against global warming, seven states in the northeast of the United States have just launched a joint initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through a system of tradable quotas of CO2.
New York Gov. George Pataki, a Republican, said yesterday that the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) should lead to reduced carbon dioxide emissions while encouraging the development of new technologies making it possible to reduce the dependence of the States concerned on foreign oil.
The signatory states (New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Vermont) will be required from 2009 to stabilize their emissions, and then begin to reduce them to 2016.
Under pressure from the powerful American energy lobby, President George Bush pulled his country out of the Kyoto Protocol in 2001 by asserting that binding measures to reduce the emissions of gases responsible for global warming would harm the American economy.
Consequently, several States of the Union have decided to use their legislative powers to limit their emissions themselves.
“Faced with the Bush administration's refusal to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, this is a great initiative that goes beyond the framework of the parties,” said climatologist Peter Frumhoff.
At the beginning of next year, each of the states bound by this program will have to bring their legislation into conformity with the requirements of the RGGI.
While the United States was the first to launch the idea of “allow to pollute” markets, it has since lagged behind other developed nations.
The RGGI must encourage power plants to invest in clean energy projects, such as wind farms.
source: The duty
RGGI website: http://www.rggi.org
Note from Rulian: This initiative may seem a little insufficient, but given the US federal political context on GHGs, it seemed important to me to pass the information on and applaud with both hands (and both feet) the political courage that has been necessary. All the more so since it is surprising that it is a Republican who initiated the project!