California governor signs bill to extend climate change program

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-26 07:53:47|Editor: Zhang Dongmiao
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SAN FRANCISCO, June 25 (Xinhua) -- Governor Jerry Brown of California signed a bill Tuesday to extend the Golden State's cap-and-trade program, a market-based program to control pollution by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of pollutants.

Also known as emissions trading program, the approach allows the government to set an overall limit on emissions and define permits to emit up to the limit. A participant can choose emit less than its permits and sell the excess permits, or to emit more than its permits and buy permits from other participants.

The system was put in place when former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a legislation in 2006, making California the first and so far the only across the United States to adopt the approach. The legislation signed Tuesday, known as AB 398, or Assembly Bill 398 of the state legislature, keeps the program operational until 2030.

Brown was joined by Schwarzenegger at the signing ceremony in Treasure Island, a neighborhood of San Francisco, where the former governor signed the initial bill.

Schwarzenegger said AB 398, as a bi-partisan effort in the state legislature, should be a lesson for Washington D.C., where the federal legislative branch is deeply divided along the party line between Republicans and Democrats.

Schwarzenegger is a Republican and Brown is a Democrat.

Brown, who succeeded Schwarzenegger in 2007, will be termed out as governor in 2019.

Without the extension, California's cap-and-trade program is scheduled to expire in 2020.

Brown, in his speech, praised his predecessor and Californians as a whole as they exemplify in efforts to curb climate change.