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West Coast Governors Agree to Go Green

SACRAMENTO (CN) - Governors of the three West Coast states and British Columbia signed a regional pact Monday, aimed at reducing greenhouse gases and promoting clean energy.

Building on environmental agreements with Quebec and China earlier this year, California Gov. Jerry Brown joined joining Gov. John Kitzhaber of Oregon, Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington and British Columbia premier Christy Clark by teleconference to announce the pact.

He said West Coast states are taking the lead when it comes to climate change.

"California isn't waiting for the rest of the world before it takes action on climate change," Brown said. "Today, California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia are all joining together to reduce greenhouse gases."

To do that, the leaders agreed to a wide range of actions and targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the region. They pledged to assess the costs of carbon pollution, harmonize carbon dioxide targets for 2050, expand the use of zero-emission vehicles, research ocean acidification, improve fuel standards, and deploy high-speed rail across the region.

The Pacific Coast region is home to 53 million people, at least 38 million of whom reside in California. With a combined GDP of $2.8 trillion, the region is the fifth largest economy in the world.

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