The eight states that make up the Western Climate Initiative have agreed to establish a regional goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the West to 15 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.
The Initiative was created earlier this year by the governors of Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington with a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to establish a goal by August. Each state also will participate in a multi-state emissions registry and work to design a multi-sector, market-based mechanism, such as a load-based cap-and-trade program, by August 2008.
Since February, Utah and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Manitoba have joined the Initiative. In addition, Colorado, Kansas, Nevada and Wyoming, as well as Canadian provinces Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan and the Mexican state of Sonora are participating in the effort as observers of the Western Climate Initiative's deliberations. Gov. Bill Richardson said the group's goal is to solve, not just debate, climate change.
For a look at what each of the US states are up to, see the Center For Climate Strategies interactive map here (as pictured above).