18 states commit to take action on climate change

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger predicted Friday that an international deadlock over how to deal with global warming will end once President Bush leaves office, while a leading expert warned of dire consequences if urgent action is not taken.

Schwarzenegger spoke at a conference at Yale University in which 18 states pledged to take action on climate change. He noted a dispute over whether the U.S. should commit to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions before China and India do the same.

“But I think the deadlock is about to be broken,” said Schwarzenegger, a Republican like Bush.

Schwarzenegger said all three president candidates would be great for the environment and predicted progress after one is inaugurated.

Schwarzenegger has been at odds with the Bush administration over a 2002 California law to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency blocked the law from taking effect in California and 16 other states, saying global warming is not unique to the state and that emission goals should be set nationally.

Bush called for a halt Wednesday in the growth of greenhouse gases by 2025, acknowledging the need to head off serious climate change. The plan came under fire immediately from environmentalists and congressional Democrats who favor mandatory emission cuts, a position also held by all three presidential contenders.

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