Global Warming

In the absence of federal leadership on climate change, state and local governments have begun to fill the void.

In 2006, California adopted the nation’s toughest global warming law, requiring factories, utilities, refineries and other industrial sites to cut emissions to 1990 levels by 2020—an estimated reduction of 25 percent. Ten states on the East Coast have formed the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to cap emissions from power plants, and 12 states have decided to regulate tailpipe emissions.

Earlier this year, the governors of five states—Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington—formed the Western Regional Climate Action Initiative to develop a regional reduction target and devise a market-based cap and trade program. Several other states have adopted climate action plans and are pursuing myriad strategies to reduce emissions. Pew’s investments played an important role in stimulating and advancing these initiatives.

In partnership with the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, the Pew Center on the States released issue briefs highlighting the science and impact of climate change, the technological solutions available, the role of business, and the array of diverse international, state and local actions currently underway.

The issue briefs included: Climate Change 101: State Action Report and Climate Change: Technological Solutions Report.

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