Regional solutions, national inaction and global problems

California has made its own plan to cut the state’s ommissions by 25%, breaking with the federal government’s rejection of Kyoto. David Cameron has honed in on the environment as a key issue and Charles Clarke identified it as one of the issues causing disillusionment with Labour. Can Northern Ireland follow this lead? Could Unionism use a restored Assembly to take the lead on key national issues? If yes to either, what issues should it focus upon?Californian governor Arnold Schwarzenegger argues that taking the lead is good economics:

“We can now move forward with developing a market-based system that makes California a world leader in the effort to reduce carbon emissions. The success of our system will be an example for other states and nations to follow as the fight against climate change continues. [This deal] strengthens our economy, cleans our environment and once again, establishes California as the leader in environmental protection.”