California climate initiative may impact Ontario & Quebec

As a result of agreements between the three jurisdictions that have already been entered into, a new climate initiative announced today by California Governor Jerry Brown is likely to have an impact on Ontario and Quebec climate initiatives, especially as integrated cap and trade programs have to operate under broadly similar frameworks. While lacking in details, the Governor’s Executive Order certainly raises the bar for North American climate programs. Among the aspects of the Executive Order:

A new interim statewide greenhouse gas emission reduction target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 is established.

  • All state agencies with jurisdiction over sources of greenhouse gas emissions shall implement measures, pursuant to statutory authority, to achieve reductions of greenhouse gas emissions to meet the 2030 target.
  • The California Natural Resources Agency shall update every three years the state’s climate adaptation strategy and ensure that its provisions are fully implemented.
  • The adaptation strategy shall:
    • identify vulnerabilities to climate change by sector and regions, including, at a minimum, the following sectors: water, energy, transportation, public health, agriculture, emergency services, forestry, biodiversity and habitat, and ocean and coastal resources.
    • outline primary risks to residents, property, communities and natural systems from these vulnerabilities, and identify priority actions needed to reduce these risks.
  • Each sector lead will be responsible to:
    • Prepare an implementation plan by September 2015 to outline the actions that will be taken as identified in Safeguarding California, and
    • Report back to the California Natural Resources Agency by June 2016 on actions taken.
  • State agencies shall take climate change into account in their planning and investment decisions, and employ full life-cycle cost accounting to evaluate and compare infrastructure investments and alternatives.
  • Priority should be given to actions that both build climate preparedness and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,
  • Where possible, flexible and adaptive approaches should be taken to prepare for uncertain climate impacts.
  • Actions should protect the state’s most vulnerable populations.
  • Natural infrastructure solutions should be prioritized.
  • The state’s Five-Year Infrastructure Plan will take current and future climate change impacts into account in all infrastructure projects.
  • The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research will establish a technical, advisory group to help state agencies incorporate climate change impacts into planning and investment decisions.
  • The state will continue its rigorous climate change research program focused on understanding the impacts of climate change and how best to prepare and adapt to such impacts.

Until some other announcement takes top spot on the California Governor’s webpage  the Executive Order and an accompanying press release can be found at http://gov.ca.gov/home.php

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