Six Western states, two Canadian provinces agree to regional climate pact

Yesterday, the leaders of six Western states and two Canadian provinces agreed to their own regional climate pact, aiming to cut greenhouse-gas emissions to 15 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. The Western Climate Initiative aims to have a cap-and-trade system in place by August 2008 and wants to partner with other trading systems like the European Union’s and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in the U.S. Northeast. While the 15-percent target isn’t quite ambitious enough for some, greens are hopeful that the growing movement to set even relatively weak state and regional climate standards will eventually influence the feds to adopt a national program. At least half of the U.S. states involved in yesterday’s agreement — California, Oregon, and Washington — already have state climate standards that exceed the modest WCI goal. The other pact members are Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Canada’s Manitoba and British Columbia.