The AP overstated the extent of the climate agreement announced today between British PM Tony Blair and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (and thus Daily Grist overstated it too). Now that the deal’s been officially unveiled, a few clarifications:
The two didn’t agree to launch a new trans-Atlantic carbon-trading market, though they will look into the possibility. Rather, they said the U.K. and California would cooperate on research into cleaner fuels and technologies. Writes the San Francisco Chronicle, “aspects of the agreement include jointly studying the economic impacts of global climate change, collaborating on technology research — including studying the effects of California’s effort to create a ‘hydrogen highway’ touted by Schwarzenegger — and establishing regular exchanges between scientists in both places.” Not so bold, but a nice symbolic gesture at least.
Arnold used the occasion to distance himself from Bush:
The message is that we do not wait for the federal government to act. … We see there is not great leadership by the federal government when it comes to protecting the environment. So that is why as a state, we will move forward because we know it is the right thing to do. It’s like stem-cell research. There are many issues like that where I feel that California should lead the way. The White House is not for it. But we are for it. The people of California are for it.
Clearly he hopes this will help him in efforts to out-green his gubernatorial challenger, Democrat Phil Angelides.
(You think I’m joking about the kissypoo? Check out this photo of the two canoodling.)