Release 07-56
November 29, 2007

    Leo Kay
Stanley Young

Head of California agency fighting global warming addresses World Bank

Chairman Mary Nichols shares California's plans, successes to support World Bank efforts to address climate change in developing world

WASHINGTON - Mary Nichols, Chairman of the California Air Resources Board, today addressed staff of the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation about the state's efforts to address the issue of climate change, highlighting California's proven ability to spur technological innovation to meet environmental challenges.

"California is a world leader in the fight against global warming, and I am honored to share our state's efforts and approaches to reducing greenhouse gas emissions with staff at the World Bank," Nichols said. "I welcome efforts by the World Bank to tackle climate change in the developing world, and look forward to working with, and learning from, developing nations that share California and the World Bank's commitment to address this global challenge. Establishing close relationships with the World Bank will pave the way for California's growing clean technology industry to play a significant role in providing cost-effective solutions to support climate change programs in the developing world."

Nichols spoke to officials about California's 40-year experience in clean energy and its proven ability to spur technological innovation to meet global environmental challenges. In particular she pointed out how California's actions, such as decoupling profits from sales for electric utilities and stringent building and appliance efficiency standards helped encourage investment in energy efficiency. As a result per capita electricity use in California has remained nearly flat since 1975.

According to a recent study from E2 (a national consortium of businesses devoted to environmental issues), California led the nation in clean technology venture investments in 2006, bringing in a total of $1.13 billion, a 127 percent increase from its 2005 total. In addition, California's share of North American clean technology investment increased from 31 percent to 39 percent between 2005 and 2006. The growth in clean technology investment was primarily driven by the energy technology sector (comprising of biofuels, wind power, photovoltaics, fuel cells, and hydrogen).

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the landmark Global Warming Solutions Act in September 2006, requiring California to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Since then the California Air Resources Board, the agency charged with implementing the law, has developed a range of key early actions, adopted regulations to limit tailpipe emissions of greenhouse gases from vehicles, and is about to begin a year-long scoping plan process to develop programs and measures to reduce emissions from all sectors of the California economy.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions will continue to keep California among the world's leaders in climate change-related technological innovation. Over the next ten years, revenue in clean technology sectors nationwide is expected to reach $226 billion, a fourfold increase over the $55 Billion revenue from these sectors in 2006.

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.