Thursday, February 21, 2008

Environmental Justice and Carbon Trading

Several of California's leading environmental justice advocates on February 19 released a Declaration Against Carbon Trading. The Los Angeles Times mistakenly reported that Sierra Club declined to comment on the announcement. Here is the letter we sent the LA Times correcting the mistake and making clear our position.

To the editor:

“Groups to fight plan for trading carbon emissions,” Feb 20. Sierra Club California did provide a comment on the declaration by environmental justice groups against trading greenhouse gas emissions, but technological problems may have prevented it from reaching your reporter.

We share many of the concerns of the environmental justice groups regarding pollution trading, like possible hot spots, loopholes and windfall profits. For these reasons we worked with those groups to successfully keep mandatory trading out of California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, AB 32. We have advocated that AB 32's implementation focus primarily on direct emission reductions, not trading, and we have repeatedly pushed California’s Air Resources Board to implement the community-protection provisions of the law. We are also open to using well-designed market compliance mechanisms to achieve some of the emission reductions necessary, as long as big polluters have to pay for their emissions and local air quality is protected.

Bill Magavern
Director, Sierra Club

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