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Governor Signs AB 32

E2 California Climate Team members Marc Stolman and Tony Bernhardt with Assembly Member Fran Pavley at the AB 32 signing ceremony on Treasure Island.
On September 27, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32) into law, marking a turning point in international efforts to solve the world’s most pressing environmental problem. NRDC and Environmental Defense shared the stage with the governor; the law’s authors, Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez (D-Los Angeles) and Assembly Member Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills); and a host of national and international dignitaries, including New York Governor George Pataki and representatives from Japan and the United Kingdom, at bill signing ceremonies in San Francisco and Malibu.

AB 32 sets mandatory caps on emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from every major source of global warming pollution. AB 32 would limit the state’s global warming emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, and institute a mandatory emissions reporting system to monitor compliance. The Global Warming Solutions Act allows for the use of market mechanisms to provide incentives to businesses to reduce emissions while safeguarding local communities. It is anticipated that California will pioneer many new clean and efficient technologies, much as it has done with the hi-tech and bio-tech industries. A University of California at Berkeley study " Economic Growth and Greenhouse Gas Mitigation in California ", found that returning California’s global warming emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, as envisioned by AB 32, can boost the annual Gross State Product (GSP) by $74 billion and create 89,000 new jobs by 2020. The bill will be implemented by the California Air Resources Board, an 11-member body appointed by the governor.

E2 played an instrumental role in getting AB 32 passed. Members on the E2 California Climate Team met with over half of the California legislators and administration officials in over one hundred meetings and helped to craft the final language of the bill. They also met with businesses and Chambers of Commerce to garner support for the bill, dispelling the assumption that all businesses were opposed to greenhouse gas caps. The E2 community at large signed letters supporting the bill and participated in E2 events where AB 32 or global warming was the issue in focus. For more on E2’s involvement, click: E2 campaign for AB 32.

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