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The Climate Group supports AB32 Scoping Plan

16 October 2008

California Air Resources Board Chairperson Mary Nichols today announced details of the final scoping plan for Assembly Bill 32 (AB32), the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.

The Climate Group, an independent, non-profit organization that works with business and government to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy, is providing support for this initiative. The announcement was made at an event hosted by The Climate Group in Sunnyvale, California, to launch the Business Guide to the Low Carbon Economy: California, a new publication designed to help business in California understand and profit from the initiatives to be undertaken to deliver on the objectives of AB32.

"Businesses need a tool," said Margaret Bruce, Western Regional Director for The Climate Group. "The Business Guide to the Low Carbon Economy is a useful, easy-to-follow guide that will help small- and medium-sized businesses save money, improve business performance and benefit from the economic opportunities created by AB32's implementation. There are other documents that help reduce energy consumption, but the Business Guide to a Low Carbon Economy caters specifically to AB32."

California will play a decisive role in determining our ability to tackle global warming. As a bellwether state, California's actions will influence the rest of the country. As the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gasses, the US position will in turn determine our ability to create a meaningful international agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocol.

California has already secured a leadership position: In September of 2006, when Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed AB32 into law, California became the first state in the country to set an economy-wide cap on greenhouse gas emissions.

The Climate Group played a key facilitating role in AB32's creation by bringing together then-UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to gain support from business and government leaders for the initiative that became AB32.

As we move into the next phase of implementation, The Climate Group is working to build a coalition of business, government and local community organizations to garner support for full implementation of AB32. Our aim is to ensure that California realizes the full potential of AB32's vision, and reaps the greatest possible economic benefits of its leadership position.

There is tremendous upside for businesses in the state. Economic analysis undertaken by the state of California has shown there are benefits of taking action now. By 2020, the recommendations put forth in the scoping plan will result in increased economic production of $27 billion, increased overall gross state product of $4 billion, increased overall personal income by $14 billion, increased per capita income of $200 and an increase of more than 100,000 jobs.

The competitive imperative to act now is also growing quickly, as others are already seizing the initiative. Thanks to clear policy to support renewable energy, China's share of global solar power capacity climbed from just one percent in 2003 to 35% by 2007. In the process, the country has created an industry worth US$12.9 billion. The more than 400 solar companies in China employ more than 300,000 people, while the six largest solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturers have raised over US$15 billion in global equities markets.

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