Not Waiting For National Action, Western Climate Initiative Carbon Trading Scheme Moves Forward

moss landing power plant photo

photo: Franco Folini via flickr

Even though it often seems that even mentioning climate change or pricing carbon on a national basis is an utter nonstarter, here's another example of how states aren't waiting for the Feds to get their act together: The Sacramento Bee reports on progress with the Western Climate Initiative. Specifically, California and 10 other US states and Canadian provinces are moving forward with plans to set up their own carbon trading market. The plan for the subnational carbon trading scheme, slated now launch in January 2012, is part of a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions regionally 15% by 2015. The trading of pollution allowances under the scheme is expected to run to $21 billion annually.

Participating in the plan as members are California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico in the US; British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec make up the Canadian contingent. Several other states, in the western US, as well as two more provinces in Canada and six states in Mexico have observer status.

western climate initiative partners map

image: WCI

As further example of an alternative way to price carbon, Montgomery County, Maryland recently passed a carbon tax, structured in such a way that only the area's 850 MW coal-fired power plant would be taxed. At least half of the expected $15 million revenue from the tax will go to fund energy efficiency programs.

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More on Carbon Trading:
China to Establish Domestic Carbon Trading Program By 2015
American Sea Otters Could Be Worth $700 Million in Carbon Credits
What's the Best Way to Price Carbon Emissions: Cap and Trade, Cap and Dividend, or Carbon Tax?

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