UPDATE 1-California lawmakers approve landmark climate bill


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SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug 31 (Reuters) - California made a bold move to curb global warming by passing on Thursday the United States' first bill to cap man-made greenhouse gas emissions which state leaders hope will be emulated across the country.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, frustrated by lack of action by fellow Republican President George W. Bush on reducing heat-trapping gases, teamed up with the state's Democratic majority on the landmark bill and will sign it next month.

The bill cleared its last legislative hurdle in the State Assembly in a 46-31 vote, with opposition from Schwarzenegger's own Republican Party.

The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 puts California at the forefront of the fight against climate change along with the European Union, and increases pressure on Washington to place mandatory caps rather than the voluntary ones favored by Bush.

California aims to reduce its emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, a cut of around 25 percent. The biggest sources of heat-trapping gases, like power plants and cement makers, will be required to report their emissions.

Bush pulled the United States out of the 160-nation Kyoto Protocol in 2001 on the grounds that the mandatory reductions in greenhouse gases would hurt the economy and wrongly excluded developing nations.

Assembly Speaker and co-sponsor Fabian Nunez appealed to California's traditional leadership on the environment and asked the legislature to take "an opportunity to be bold."

"Members, this is a bipartisan bill, it's a bipartisan bill that has good corporate citizens supporting it," said Nunez, a Los Angeles Democrat.

While Schwarzenegger will use his good record on the environment in his November re-election bid, Nunez has said the Democrats hope to roll it out to other states and make it a hot election issue for the 2008 presidential race.



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