California provides example on climate change programs, cost of reducing global warming

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – As the U.S. and China turn to implementing new rules aimed at curbing climate change, the countries can look to the most populous U.S. state as an example of the costs and challenges of fighting global warming.

California already has imposed some of the world’s toughest air quality standards as it moves aggressively to lower emissions.

Its cap-and-trade program offers one of the few real-world laboratories on how to reduce carbon emissions.

Next year, the program will be expanded to include companies that produce gasoline and other fuels, prompting predictions that consumers will see a spike in prices to cover the costs.

Gov. Jerry Brown has been unapologetic.

He says there needs to be a completely new way of thinking if the world is to curb carbon emissions in time.