The Western Climate Initiative (WCI) was set up in February of this year by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and four other states to “partner in the fight against climate change.”

The WCI’s goal is to reduce greenhouse gases by 15% below 2005 levels by 2020, which the group says reflects the cumulative total of individual reduction goals for each state and province. The total reductions are expected to exceed 350 million metric tonnes.

“Climate change is a global problem that requires a global solution. California is proud to be among the Western Climate Initiative partners taking this important step to establish the most comprehensive regional greenhouse gas emission reduction goal in North America,” said Governor Schwarzenegger.

“Our collective commitment will build a successful regional system to be linked with other efforts across the nation and eventually the world.”

The agreement was originally signed by the Governors of Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington at the 2007 National Governor’s Association Winter meeting in Washington, DC on February 26, 2007. Utah and the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and British Columbia have also joined.

Now, several states and provinces are observing the WCI proceedings including Colorado, Kansas, Nevada, Wyoming, Sonora, Mexico, and Ontario and Quebec, Canada. To join, partner states and provinces must be willing to agree to the principles of the original initiative, as well as the goals outlined in the goals statement.

British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell is also urging other Canadian provinces to join the WCI. He said that countries will be better off if more partners unite in meeting the initiative’s objectives.

Dana Gornitzki

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