November 3, 2013 – Three American states and the Province of British Columbia are aligning their strategies to tackle carbon emissions in an effort to mitigate the effects of climate change. This is significant because California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia together represent the fifth largest economy in the world.
Today California has a carbon cap-and-trade system in place. British Columbia has implemented a carbon tax. Oregon and Washington governors have attempted to legislate a price on carbon but have been stymied by opposition and lobbyists. But last Monday all four jurisdictions committed themselves to align their carbon-emission reduction policies to tackle climate change.
Oregon and Washington are adopting a low carbon fuel standard for all transportation within their states. By 2016 all four are committed to a 10% zero-emission target on all new vehicles sold within their jurisdictions. They also stated their intent to support any new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency greenhouse gas emission standards for power plants. All four also committed to letting science guide policies on the environment and climate change with an ultimate goal of getting international agreement on carbon in place by 2015.