The state supreme court did not issue a written opinion on the
program itself but declined take up the case on appeal from a
"This is the final step in this case to affirm California’s
innovative climate program, including its carbon auctions, which
serves as a vital safeguard to ensure polluters are held
accountable for their pollution," Erica Morehouse, a senior
attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund, said in a written
statement.Representatives for the state Chamber of Commerce,
which led the legal challenge, could not be reached for comment
on Wednesday evening.
California's program to cap emissions and trade carbon permits
is a crucial component of a broader effort to reduce the state's
output of heat-trapping greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by the
end of the decade.
The carbon market sets a steadily declining cap on the state's
carbon output and then sells or gives permits that businesses
are required to submit every three years to the state to cover
The program has come under fire from critics who have said a
glut of permits reduced the incentive for businesses to cut
Businesses have been uncertain about the future of the program,
which as originally passed was scheduled to end in 2020. The
lawsuit by business groups had also threatened to scuttle the
"With this Supreme Court victory, now it’s up to us to take
action extending California’s cap-and-trade system on a more
permanent basis," California Governor Jerry Brown said in a
written statement following the ruling.
(Reporting By Tom Brown)
[© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2017 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.