California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a landmark global warming billWednesday, making his U.S. state the first to impose limits on all greenhouse gas emissions.
The bill requires the state's major industries— such as utility plants, oil and gas refineries, and cement kilns— to reduce their emissions of the pollutants widely believed to contribute to global warming.
"We simply mustdo everything we canin our power to slow down global warming before it is too late, Schwarzengger said, adding the bill will "change the course of history."
The goal of the bill is to reducethe state'semissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by an estimated 25 per cent by 2020.
A market program would allow businesses to buy, sell and trade emission credits with other companies.
While environmentalists have praised the bill, some business leaders have complained the legislation willincrease their costs and force them to scale back their California operations.
But Schwarzenegger rejected those concerns, saying the bill will actually help business and create a clean tech industry that will create jobs.
"We will create a whole new industry that will pump up our economy," he said.
The U.S. state is the world's 12th-largest emitter of greenhouse gases.
Manitoba Premier Gary Doer attended the bill signing as a guest of the governor. The NDP Premier and the Republican governor became friends in June when they were on a panel together in Arizona about renewable energy.