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California Launches Nation’s Largest Carbon Market

Carbon EmissionsSan Francisco, California – California launched the nation’s largest carbon market on November 14, putting in place a key measure that is poised to significantly reduce carbon emissions under the goals of California’s landmark clean energy law, AB 32.

Six years in the making, California’s cap-and-trade program, encompassing the electricity, industrial and transportation sectors, will hold the state’s largest emitters accountable for their carbon pollution, while providing incentives to develop innovative clean energy solutions.

Cap-and-trade is part of California’s comprehensive package of clean energy solutions that includes sustainable communities, renewable energy, energy efficiency, standards for clean cars and trucks, and clean fuels.

Predictably, the petroleum industry and other opponents of California’s drive towards clean energy are pushing to move the state backward. Their recent calls to weaken and delay AB 32 echo past efforts to block clean energy progress. But California voters continue to stand firm on the need to move forward with clean energy solutions. Voters resoundingly rejected Prop 23 in 2010, and earlier this month, reaffirmed their commitment to accelerating clean energy and energy efficiency by passing Prop 39.

Ann Notthoff, California Advocacy Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), said, “The California Air Resources Board deserves tremendous credit for the careful, deliberate and steady approach that they’ve taken over the past six years to design a program to cut carbon pollution under AB 32. With Governor [Edmund Gerald “Jerry”] Brown’s support, first as Attorney General and now as Governor, the Air Board, led by Mary Nichols and her talented team have taken the time to get this right.”

Alex Jackson, Attorney in NRDC’s Energy Program, said, “The world is watching California mark this historic milestone. The launch of the nation’s first economy-wide carbon market emphasizes once again California’s continued leadership in developing innovative energy policies.”

“By moving forward with implementing AB 32 and all its clean energy measures, including cap-and-trade, California is not only making good on promises to improve air quality and hold polluters accountable, it is ensuring the state retains its place as a clean energy powerhouse.”

“From setting the very first energy efficiency standards for buildings and appliances in the 1970s, to developing the state’s clean car standards later adopted nationally, to implementing AB 32 – California is demonstrating yet again that it can successfully pioneer solutions that create a strong economy and a healthy environment for Californians and beyond.”

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international non-profit environmental organization with more than 1.3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, their lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world’s natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Livingston, Montana, and Beijing. For more information, visit www.nrdc.org.

Source: NRDC.