Thursday, July 31, 2008

western climate initiative

a lot of the talk at yesterday's EJAC meeting was regarding the western climate initiative (WCI). committee members expressed concern at being left out of the process--apparently july 29 was the last stakeholder meeting to discuss the policy. it was met with protests. the protesters concerns are not new, and all concern cap and trade. (i'm just going to take from the signonsandiego article. group is in bold, concern follows.)
  1. environmental leaders: undermine california's efforts by allowing purchases of allowances/credits elsewhere, thus deferring a low-carbon transition at home.
  2. labor officials: would encourage industry to leave california in favor of areas with fewer rules.
  3. several critics: said the system would be open to manipulation and gaming.
the response: "Leaders of the Western Climate Initiative said they will take yesterday's comments into consideration as they craft a final plan for release in September."

hm. so, california comes out with this great plan, lots of (sort of) accountability. EJ provisions, public health provisions. a truly major environmental public works project. but now they latch on to the WCI and suddenly it becomes another nafta superhighway. what the hell is going on? shouldn't these protests and the EJAC meeting be cluing in the WCI leaders that they need more transparency, not less? if they stopped acting like corporate pigs, they could realize that a properly designed cap and trade system could address all concerns. but instead they're shrouding themselves in secrecy. i suggest to the WCI stakeholders that this is not a winning strategy.

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