SchwarzeneggerThe premier of the state of Victoria, Australia, has signed an agreement with Arnold Swarzenegger to tackle global warming. The memorandum signed Friday establishes a partnership to cut emissions and encourage the development of clean energy. The pact may mark the first cooperative effort to lessen climate change that links jurisdictions from two hemispheres.

“I am proud that California has earned a reputation as a global leader on combating climate change,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “Engaging in this joint commitment with Premier Bracks and the State of Victoria sends a clear message of international, bipartisan dedication to and preserve our precious natural resources.”

The agreement provides an opportunity for California and Victoria to fight the effects of climate change by taking joint action to cap emissions, foster market competition for low carbon resources, coordinate carbon offsets, reduce greenhouse gases in the transportation sector, encourage the development of clean energy technology, develop clean building standards and help agricultural communities adapt to climate change.

In February, Governor Schwarzenegger signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Governors Janet Napolitano (Arizona), Bill Richardson (New Mexico), Ted Kulongoski (Oregon) and Chris Gregoire (Washington), creating the Western Regional Climate Action Initiative, a joint strategy to fight global warming.

Last September, Governor Schwarzenegger signed the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, landmark legislation that established a comprehensive program of regulatory and market mechanisms to achieve cost-effective reductions of greenhouse gases — by 2020 a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels, roughly a 25 percent reduction given the current output.

California ranks 12th in the world in terms of carbon dioxide emissions and its regulatory actions tend to have far-reaching effects throughout the U.S. (Thanks to Kay, our eyes in Australia, for sending the link!)

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