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November 2006

Illinois becomes the second state to join the Chicago Climate Exchange

Illinois Governor Blagojevich announced the beginning of a long-term strategy by the state to combat global climate change to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, such as enhancing the use of wind power, biofuels and energy efficiency.

“The impact of global warming from greenhouse gases in Illinois and around the globe could be devastating,” said Governor Blagojevich.

The Executive Order signed in October by Governor Blagojevich creates the Illinois Climate Change Advisory Group, which will consider the full range of policies and strategies to reduce GHG emissions in Illinois and make recommendations to the Governor.

The Advisory Group will have broad representation, including, business leaders, labor unions, the energy and agricultural industries, scientists, economists, and environmental groups from throughout the state. The Governor named Doug Scott, director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, as chair of the Advisory Group.

Illinois will also join New Mexico to become the second state in the nation to join the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX). As a CCX member, the state makes a voluntary, but legally binding, commitment to reduce GHG emissions from the electricity and fuel needed to operate state facilities and motor vehicles.

CCX is North America’s only GHG emissions registry, reduction and trading system. CCX members are required to reduce GHG emissions by six percent by 2010, compared to their average emissions between 1998 and 2001. Members that cannot meet their emissions reductions targets can buy credits from members that have exceeded their required reductions, or from farmers or others who have reduced carbon releases to the atmosphere.

As part of the Governor’s global warming initiative, Illinois EPA director Doug Scott and Steven Frenkel, director of policy development for Governor Blagojevich, will meet with top officials from California to discuss GHG reduction strategies. Governor Schwarzenegger recently signed legislation that creates the most ambitious greenhouse gas reduction program in the United States.

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