Midwest Joins Northeast and Western States to Cap Carbon Emissions

Nine Midwestern governors and the premier of Manitoba, Canada met November 16 to sign a regional greenhouse gas reduction accord, which will create a multi-sector cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gases. This multi-state agreement joins similar efforts, such as the 10-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) in the Northeast and the 5-state Western Climate Initiative Partnership that includes California, New Mexico, Arizona, Oregon and Washington.

In the absence of national leadership, these large regions (in the Northeast and Midwest they correspond with the geography of the megaregions) have set their own goals for greenhouse gas emissions and are in the process of developing cap-and-trade programs. Does the multi-state or megaregion framework lend itself to climate change leadership? The governors may be motivated by the positive peer pressure of their neighboring states and a similar set of energy and climate conditions born by their proximity that allow for setting comparable targets. In any case, we are encouraged by the leadership and collaboration of these groups of governors and hope it will set a precedent for collaboration on other pressing issues.

Some of these governors also produced a commercial sponsored by Environmental Defense urging congress to take action on the Lieberman-Warner climate change bill. View the commercial on YouTube above.