As the 12th-largest carbon emitter in the world, California — with Gov. Schwarzenegger at the helm — has been taking climate change very seriously. In 2006, AB32
passed into law, requiring California to reduce GHG's (greenhouse gas emissions) 80 percent by 2050. Mary Nichols, chairman of the California Air Resources Board, is one of the world's leading authorities on climate regulation and is tasked with implementing the California initiative. She is also a key advisor to the Obama campaign and other states (over 20 so far) in the process of adopting climate regulations.
Mary keynoted last night at the Applied Solutions summit. Here she talks about the important role local government has to play, the importance of a cap and trade system (as opposed to a carbon tax), and how "helpless" world leaders are without implementation at the state and county levels.