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California's climate change law praised by British Columbia Premier Campbell

California's leadership role in global climate change initiatives has spurred innovation throughout the western United States and Canada, according to British Columbia's Premier Gordon Campbell.

Campbell was in town to discuss climate change actions with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday and to speak before the state Assembly on the subject Thursday.

He said California's adoption of its landmark greenhouse gas reduction law in 2006 triggered policy changes in his province that helped lead to the creation of more than 20,000 new clean-tech jobs.

"Californians need to know the enormous contributions they have made not just to the state but to the whole continent," Campbell said in a telephone interview on Thursday.

"The economic impacts are enormous."

Campbell, who has served as British Columbia's premier since 2001, said he's not here to take sides in the ballot battle over whether or not to suspend the state's climate change law, or AB 32.

But he was clearly touting the economic and environmental benefits of a low carbon society.

The ballot initiative, Proposition 23, seeks to suspend AB 32 until the statewide unemployment rate drops to 5.5 percent for four quarters.

Proponents of the initiative, backed by Texas oil companies, say that the law kills jobs and will lead to higher energy prices.

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