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Schwarzenegger Meets With German Minister To Discuss Carbon Trading

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany’s foreign minister, plan to begin talks today about how California could work with the European Union to create a system that would allow companies to buy and sell credits for emission reductions, The San Francisco Chronicle reports.

In January, members of EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas’ staff met with Californian officials to discuss how to bring the state into the 27-nation bloc’s trading scheme for greenhouse gas emissions. “We are trying to make their trading scheme harmonized in order to have them linked in the future,” Dimas said at the time.

California’s AB32 bill, signed last year, requires the state to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases to 1990 levels by 2020 and to draft the plan by 2011. The EU states have had dealing with emissions certificates since 2005.

“A big push in reduction will come from a carbon-trade system,” said BreAnda Northcutt, spokeswoman California’s Environmental Protection Agency. “It is the most effective way to achieve our goals.”

The Chronicle reports that, according to a report from Ecosystem Marketplace, California companies like Yahoo, Google and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. have announced that they will buy offsets from voluntary markets.

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, an alliance of nine northeastern states, wants to start a cap-and-trade emissions program in January 2009.

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