Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today delivered remarks commemorating the third anniversary of the signing of AB 32, the world's first comprehensive law to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco. The Governor discussed the steps California has taken to reduce its emissions since AB 32 was signed, the state's efforts to engage other states and countries such as China in the fight against climate change and the need for a global solution to this global problem.
"Every year it becomes more apparent that no single issue threatens the health and prosperity of our world, or provides a greater opportunity for economic success than climate change - and that is why California has stepped up to take the lead. Three years ago I signed the world's most comprehensive global warming law and since then our emissions have been reduced, our green economy has grown and our policies have influenced the world," said Governor Schwarzenegger. "But that was only the first step. Global warming is a global problem that requires a global solution and I am committed to working toward that solution so our children and grandchildren are left with a clean environment and a strong economy."
AB 32 mandates a reduction of California's GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and calls for an 80 percent reduction from 1990 levels by 2050. Three years after AB 32 became law, the state has approved an AB 32 Scoping Plan as a blueprint for reducing GHG emissions, adopted measures from the Low Carbon Fuel Standard to the Pavley Vehicle Standards to address 40 percent of its overall goals and is working on more than 20 additional measures such as a cap-and-trade system to fully meet AB 32 mandates.
Last week, Governor Schwarzenegger took California another major step forward toward reducing GHG emissions when he signed Executive Order S-21-09, directing the California Air Resources Board to adopt regulations increasing California's Renewable Portfolio Standard to 33 percent by 2020 - putting California on track to becoming the largest clean energy producer in the nation.
California's leadership on energy and the environment has influenced national and international policies. Last week, the Obama Administration announced the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will adopt a vehicle emissions standard modeled after California's first-in-the-nation standard and the International Code Council announced the state's newly adopted Green Building Standards Code will serve as a foundation for commercial buildings worldwide. Furthermore, California participated in the launch of China's first GHG emissions registry earlier this year.
Being a leader in clean energy standards has made California a leader in clean energy investment and green jobs. In the last three years, more than $6 billion in venture capital has been pumped into California's economy, making us the national leader in the number of clean businesses. Green jobs have also skyrocketed, growing 10 times faster in California than in other areas. And the growth is expected to continue. According to a recent study, California is on track to more than double its power generated by solar panel installations in 2009.
Governor Schwarzenegger will be furthering California's leadership and the fight against global warming next week at the Global Climate Summit 2. Leaders from around that world will come together and collaborate on efforts to further the global fight against climate change and to help build momentum to climate talks in Copenhagen this December.