Six Western States and Two Provinces Set Greenhouse Gas Goals

August 29, 2007

The members of the Western Climate Initiative agreed on August 22nd to a regional goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 15% below 2005 levels by 2020. The initiative was formed in February by the governors of Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington, and was later joined by the state of Utah and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Manitoba. By August 2008, the members of the initiative plan to create a market-based mechanism, such as a carbon cap-and-trade program, to achieve the goal. See the agreement (PDF 224 KB). Download Adobe Reader.

The initiative members stressed that the regional goal does not replace or supersede the goals set by the individual states and provinces. For instance, Oregon has set a goal to stop the increase in greenhouse gas emissions by 2010, then to reduce emissions to 10% below 1990 levels by 2020 and to 75% below 1990 levels by 2050. Those goals were codified into state law this year. Meanwhile, Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr., a relative newcomer to the process, has committed that state to developing a greenhouse gas reduction goal by June 2008. See the press releases from Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski and Utah Governor Jon Huntsman.