The Schwarzenegger Solution: R20

Drawing on the G(X) model of international cooperation (as in the G-20 group of nations), California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is proposing that subnational governments band together to advance climate policy, in their own “R20,” or “Club of 20 Regions.” According to the Governor’s office, officials from four other nations have already signed on to the idea of  “a new regional coalition to fast-track the results of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference and push their respective national governments into more rapid actions and stronger commitments to fight climate change.”

According to a concept document released on Monday, the group aspires to “demonstrate the feasibility” of the arrangement by 2012, which coincides with some key international conferences and is also when California’s climate legislation is scheduled to take full effect.

Founding members of the group include provincial officials from Canada, Nigeria, France and Algeria, including Premier Jean Charest of Quebec, who said the arrangement would, among other things, “allow for the transfer of expertise and green technologies to developing countries.”

Quebec is one of four Canadian provinces participating in the embryonic regional carbon trading cooperative known as the Western Climate Initiative.  The Governor’s announcement provided no indication that the other Canadian provinces or the half-dozen other US states in the WCI had signed on to R20, as of Monday (the “20″ is apparently “symbolic” thus far).

Following his speech to the climate conference on Tuesday, Governor Schwarzenegger is scheduled to meet with the governors of some WCI partners in Copenhagen.