Some good news on the international climate change front, California has approved a plan for a state wide carbon price beginning in 2013. With a unanimous vote the California Air Resources Board adopted a cap and trade system that will put a price on carbon pollution.
Why is this important? Well for lots of reasons:
1. It helps demonstrate how other countries (and states) around the world are acting on climate change.
2. California has a huge economy, which, at $1.9 trillion dollars is the largest of any US state. So large in fact, that if California was a country, its economy would be one of the 10 biggest in the world. That economy is about to get less polluting.
3. California is generally ahead of the rest of the US when it comes to things like clean energy, energy efficiency etc. If it is successfully implemented, the California cap and trade scheme will have a positive influence, promoting climate action in other US states and potentially by the US federal government as well.
Although the Californian scheme is designed somewhat differently from the carbon price here in Oz, the basic idea is the same. Polluters will now have to pay to pollute, instead of taxpayers effectively subsidising polluters by picking up the tab for all the damage their pollution does.