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Calif. Businesses Join Chorus of Support for Climate Laws

A group of California businesses and trade associations on Thursday threw their support behind the state's climate change regulations, arguing the efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions amount to an enormous economic opportunity.

They hail from a wide swath of sectors -- cleantech, recreation, automotive, wine, printing and finance, among others -- to urge Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the California Air Resources Board to adopt the state's Proposed Scoping Plan for implementing the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, also known as AB 32.

The plan calls for reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, drawing a third of the state's electricity from renewable sources, tweaking land-use policies to curb urban sprawl and implementing a Low Carbon Fuel Standard.

"By developing solar panels, electric panels and fuels, harnessing wind and solar power, creating biofuels, and making data center and building more energy efficient, companies will create jobs as they combat climate change," the group wrote in a letter submitted during the AB 32 Scoping Plan public comment period. "Additionally, saving energy boosts businesses' bottom line and puts money in consumers' pockets, money that is recycled into the California economy."

Businesses and associations include the California Ski Industry, Arup, Tesla Motors, Anderson Lithograph, Mendocino Wine Co., Aegis Partners Inc., Natural Logic, Capital World Investors, Centropolis Entertainment, and Fisker Automotive, among others.

CARB is scheduled to approve the Proposed Scoping Plan next month. Meanwhile, 26 government officials from six countries meeting at the Governors' Global Climate Summit this week signed a declaration to partner on climate change efforts to immediately reduce emissions in carbon intensive sectors, such as forestry, agriculture, cement, heavy metals, energy and transportation.

The group of California businesses calling for climate change legislation comes the day after five high-profile companies -- Nike, Starbucks, Sun Microsystems, The Timberland Co., and Levi Strauss & Co. -- joined nonprofit Ceres in the creation of a coalition that will lobby the federal government for swift and aggressive national climate change legislation.

Called Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy, the group is calling for cutting greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, a doubling of the historic energy efficiency improvement rate and auction-only greenhouse gas cap-and-trade system.

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