Neither the U.S. or Canada have binding emissions reduction targets at the national level. However, 36 states and most Canadian provinceshave enacted Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) which sets objectives for renewable electrical energy sources at the state and provincial level. For example, California has set a goal of 33% renewable energy by 2020. In 2006 Washington state enacted an RPS of 15% renewables on 2020. The 2007 Oregon created a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) that requires the largest utilities in Oregon to provide 25 % of their retail sales of electricity from renewables by 2025.
The first low-carbon fuel standard mandate in the world was enacted by California in 2007. Similar legislation was adopted by British Columbia in April 2008.
In 2008 British Columbia introduced a carbon tax on all fossil fuels including gasoline, diesel, natural gas, coal, propane, and home heating fuel. The rate increased gradually and is now $30/tonne of carbon-equivalent emissions. California's cap-and-trade program came into effect in January 2013 and mandated carbon trading for about 350 companies in California. The first auction of allowances was held in November of last year. The Air Resources Board (ARB) held its fourth auction of greenhouse gas allowances on August 16, 2013. Allowances for 2013 emissions, valued at $170 million, sold out. Quebec will join the California cap-and-trade program Jan 1, 2014.
On Oct 28, the Governors of California, Oregon and Washington and the Premier of British Columbia signed the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy , which is a non-binding agreement to a comprehensive strategic alignment of goevnrment policies to combat climate change and promote clean energy. The combined population of California, British Columbia, Washington and Oregon is 53 million people with an annual total GDP of $2.8 trillion, which is roughly equal to that of France.
The leaders agreed that all four jurisdictions will account for the costs of carbon pollution, require increased fuel efficiency and set goals for reducing greenhouse gases across the region. The agreement also sets targets for electric vehicles, aiming at 10% of all new cars and trucks to be emission-free by 2016. It also calls for the construction of a bullet-train system from Canada to California. California and British Columbia will continue their existing carbon reduction programs, and Oregon and Washington have committed to consider adopting similar policies.