California yesterday adopted an ambitious plan that aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the state by 15 per cent by 2012, and by 30 per cent by 2020, to fight global warming.
The move comes as a bankrupt sate is forced to delay or postpone payments on all bills from electricity to stationery, amidst a record budget deficit of around $42 billion, expected over the next 18 months.
The plan, approved unanimously by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), involves regulations that would affect almost everything from factories to farms.
The plan, which outlines how individuals and businesses would meet targets under a law passed in 2006, makes the state under the administration of Arnold Schwarzenegger a leader in climate action.
Called the 'Global Warming Solutions Act' and more commonly referred to as AB32, the 2006 Act mandates the state cut emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
The prescribed reduction in greenhouse gases works out to an average of four tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases for every person in the state.
While most of the reductions in California's greenhouse gas emissions will come from detailed regulations, industries will also be allowed to trade pollution credits to meet the targets more cheaply.
The new regulations, containing 31 new rules, will bring more fuel-efficient and non-polluting vehicles to California and increase the use of environment-friendly coolants in air-conditioners and refrigerators.
This could also change the way people live. While homes and offices would become more fuel-efficient, the new regulations would also see a shift in residential areas to near schools, public utilities and offices.
While President-elect Barack Obama has vowed to push ahead with national efforts to control emissions, California's new blueprint will put it at the forefront of a national climate policy.
On the more brighter side of the climate action, the plan would generate an estimated 100,000 more jobs and an average household saving of $400 a year through fuel-efficient vehicles and energy-efficient homes.