States Join Collaboration to Address Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Thirty-one states, representing more than 70 percent of the U.S. population, are charter members of the Climate Registry, marking the largest national effort to take action on climate change.

According to a May 8 announcement, the list of founding members includes the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming, as well as the Campo Kumeyaay Nation (a tribe). Two Canadian provinces, British Columbia and Manitoba, also committed to participate. Participants range from states that have been moving forward with aggressive, mandatory programs to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to those that are taking initial steps to address the challenge. Both Republican and Democratic governors are well represented, and the states are geographically diverse.

"States cannot wait any longer for leadership on global warming from the federal government," said Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich. "Illinois and the other states are creating a system that gives businesses and organizations an opportunity to step up to the plate and take responsibility for reducing their greenhouse-gas emissions."

The newly formed Climate Registry is a tool to measure, track, verify and publicly report GHG emissions accurately, transparently and consistently across borders and industry sectors. This is a critical first step in developing robust programs to reduce GHG emissions. The registry will support voluntary, market-based and regulatory GHG-emissions-reporting programs.

"You have to be able to count carbon pollution in order to cut carbon pollution," said Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). "The registry gives business and policymakers an essential accounting tool for tracking the success of the many emerging global warming emission reduction initiatives that are blossoming across the country."

Bob Malone, chairman and president of BP America, stated: "We believe a credible reporting system of greenhouse-gas emissions is the first step in developing government policy and corporate programs that will change behaviors, spark innovation and deliver reductions of greenhouse gas emissions."

Companies and other organizations located throughout the United States can voluntarily report GHG emissions to the Climate Registry beginning in January 2008. States that do require GHG reporting are expected to use the Climate Registry as well.

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This article originally appeared in the 05/01/2007 issue of Environmental Protection.

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