SACRAMENTO /California Newswire/ — At the first Annual Leaders Forum of the Pacific Coast Collaborative (PCC) today, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, along with British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell, Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown and Washington Governor Christine Gregoire, signed two Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) that build upon the original PCC Agreement, signed on June 30, 2008. The Pacific Coast Collaborative was established by British Columbia’s Premier and Pacific Coast Governors in June 2008 as a partnership for leadership, co-operative action and a common voice on issues affecting the Pacific Coast region. In the MOUs, the members of the PCC agree on action plans that focus on innovation, the environment and the economy, and ocean conservation and coastal climate change adaptation.
“I’m proud that California is a leader in protecting our coastline, fighting climate change and keeping our ocean and beaches clean,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “On these issues, a single state’s actions by itself will never be enough. That’s why two years ago, California joined Washington, Oregon and British Columbia in a historic partnership to protect the health of our Pacific Ocean. Today’s action builds and expands upon that commitment.”
Each MOU sets forth a specific action plan, one on ocean conservation and coastal climate change adaptation and another on innovation, the environment and the economy. The Action Plan on Ocean Conservation and Coastal Climate Change Adaptation focuses on:
· Renewable and low carbon energy: including the development and delivery of renewable and low carbon energy, support of the Western Renewable Energy Zones project, best practices to mitigate potential environmental impacts, harmonize definitions of low impact renewable resources and seek collaborations on forest product for renewable energy.
· Energy conservation: including participation in a symposium on energy equipment, encouraging a “Conservation First” utility framework, collaboration on pilot projects for industrial energy efficiency, energy efficiency standards in the building code, leveraging energy efficiency standards for public buildings, promoting a wood building culture for climate action, partnering to promote green and living communities and collaboration on “net-zero community energy” homes and buildings.
· Transportation: including collaboration on high-speed rail from California to British Columbia, the construction of a Pacific “Green Highway,” sharing standards and best practices for alternative fuels, collaboration on all electric and plug-in electric hybrid vehicles and hydrogen vehicles, collaboration on next generation biofuels, maximizing the impact of public fleet policies and creating consistent roadside signage for alternative fuel stations.
· Green ports: including cooperation on air quality at ports, promotion of best port practices and promotion of air emission reduction initiatives.
· Economic stimulus and infrastructure: including agreeing to maximize results for each jurisdiction from the infrastructure expenditures to be undertaken by the member’s federal governments.
The Action Plan on Innovation, the Environment and the Economy focuses on:
· Ocean health and conservation: including the prevention and clean-up of marine debris, spread of invasive species, risks from toxins and non-point source pollutions and sustainable fisheries management.
· Coastal climate change adaptation: including impacts from possible changes to marine and coastal environments, changes in ocean acidity, local capacity and sharing of information.
· Ocean research and adaptation: including support for ocean observations and efforts on seafloor mapping.
On June 30, 2008, Governor Schwarzenegger and other leaders of Pacific Ocean-bordering states and provinces signed the PCC Agreement, in order to create a common front. The PCC was born out of this agreement. The collaborative is a formal basis for cooperative action, a forum for leadership and information sharing, and a common voice on issues facing Pacific North America. Cooperation focuses on clean energy; regional transportation; innovation, research and development; enhancing a sustainable regional economy, especially with respect to environmental goods and services; emergency management; and other topics. As part of the agreement, the collaborative meets at least once a year, with the chair and the meeting location rotating annually.