Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is hosting the somewhat hastily arranged conference, which is “co-hosted” by the governors of four other U.S. states; Florida, Illinois, Kansas, and Wisconsin. Governors of four other states have pledged to send delegates. Two of these states, Utah and Washington, are already partners with California in the Western Climate Initiative, which recently rolled out a framework for its regional cap & trade program, set to take effect in 2012.
Governor Schwarzenegger said in September that “all 50″ US governors would be invited. Sacramento-based AP writer Samantha Young documented invitations to at least 36 governors.
Those who made it are joined by representatives from a dozen other nations, including Mexico, Brazil and importantly, China and India. These last two are linchpins in the success of any concerted effort to control emissions of greenhouse gases. Brazil can make a major contribution in the preservation of tropical forests. And Mexico–well, they’re right next door. And annoyingly, GHG emissions tend to flout international borders. It’s been estimated that on certain days, a quarter of L.A.’s air pollution can be traced to China, though today was certainly not one of them. The odor of smoke from surrounding wildfires followed me down I-5 from Castaic, into the L.A. Basin.
Tuesday’s summit agenda is dominated by breakout sessions devoted to specific sectors and topics, such as energy, transportation and cement manufacturing. Discussions will include representatives of diverse interests, from The Nature Conservancy to Wal-Mart. By Wednesday organizers expect delegates to sign a “joint declaration agreeing to pursue collaborative action to reduce greenhouse gas emission and create opportunities to grow green economies.”
I’ll be following the proceedings and blogging daily from them.