Awesome news in the Milwaukee papers this morning. As of today, 49 percent of the American people have decided not to wait for China to lead the way on climate protection.

In the heartland:

Six Midwestern governors and the premier of Manitoba will sign an accord in Milwaukee today that will commit those states to working together to slash emissions linked to global warming over the coming decades.

That makes three –count ’em three—big regions of North America that are stepping up to do something about climate change. Andthey’re doing it now, not waiting around and hoping that China or India will show them how. The Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Accord (pdf) is similar to the Western Climate Initiative and the northeast’s Regional Greenhous Gas Initiative.

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  • According to the press coverage:

    Under the agreement, the region would set up a regional cap-and-trade system for trading emission credits over the next year, with trading of those credits slated to start in 2010. There is no specific target yet identified for how much emissions would be cut, but many states in the region are developing plans that aim to cut emissions by 60% to 80% by 2050.

    The states in these compacts are the climate-equivalent of nations—and not just small countries either. Find out exactly what I mean here and here.

    In case you’re wondering, the Midwest participants include Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Manitoba, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. The WCI full members are Arizona, British Columbia, California, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Washington; and RGGI has Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.